Nova Austral commits all salmon farm sites, hatchery to BAP certification following successful Aracena 19 bid
Nova Austral S.A. has entered into the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program with the certification of its Aracena 19 salmon farm site in Región de Magallanes in southern Chile, according to a 14 July announcement.
Starting late last year, Nova Austral’s new management team began taking the necessary steps to ensure that Aracena 19 would be ready for its audit in June 2020. SAI Global conducted the site’s audit last month, determining whether Aracena 19 satisfied BAP standards for environmental responsibility, social accountability, animal welfare, food safety, and traceability.
A “heightened degree of inspection” was applied to the Nova Austral site, according to GAA, with the company undergoing a series of investigative audits over the first half of 2020. The results of those audits “provided evidence and assurance that the company has fully addressed concerns related to the BAP standards and certification,” GAA said.
Nova Austral said it is committing all of its salmon farm sites and its new hatchery to the BAP process moving forward, and all of those bids will be similarly subjected to a heightened degree of inspection.
“We are gratified with this certification, as it is the outcome of the efforts and hard work that the company has been doing since last year to strengthen and rebuild Nova Austral in terms of sustainability, environmental responsibility and good practices,” Nova Austral CEO Nicolás Larco said in a press release. “We are confident that we will make new achievements in this direction in the future, and that is why we have committed ourselves to BAP to start the certification process for other farm sites, including our new hatchery in Tierra del Fuego.”
“We congratulate Nova Austral for achieving BAP certification, which provides further recognition of the good practices applied by its new management team and reaffirms its commitment to responsible salmon farming,” added Greg Brown, BAP’s senior vice president of operations and strategic development.
Nova Austral came under the scrutiny of Chile's fisheries and aquaculture service Sernapesca in 2019 following press accusations of underreporting mortality rates. That scrutiny later resulted in a criminal suit against the company and its former executives.
Those criminal charges, and the subsequent court case, resulted in a Chilean court in Putna Arenas levying the maximum fine possible against the company – a fine that Sernapesca has said is too low given the scale of the behavior.
The BAP third-party certification program currently has more than 2,400 processing plants, farms, hatcheries, and feed mills in 35 countries certified against its standards.
Photo courtesy of Nova Austral