BAP program gets closer to GSSI benchmark nod
The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program has entered the home stretch for benchmarking by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), after its GSSI Benchmark Report was published on 23 June.
BAP, a third-party aquaculture certification program that has certified more than 1,110 farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills globally, is the world’s first third-party aquaculture certification program to enter into public consultation, according to a press release from the GAA.
BAP now faces a 30-day public consultation, and following that, a GSSI Benchmark Committee review before the GSSI Steering Board makes a final decision on whether to approve the program for recognition as meeting the GSSI benchmarks for seafood-related certification schemes.
“We are absolutely delighted that the independent experts and the benchmark committee have found BAP to be in alignment with all GSSI Essential Components,” BAP Standards Coordinator Dan Lee said. “This is a major step forward for independent recognition of the BAP program.”
GSSI’s benchmarking process, which is based on international reference documents from the FAO, seeks to identify and recognize robust and credible certification schemes, using the GSSI Benchmarking Tool. Three wild fisheries certification programs have already achieved GSSI recognition: the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program, the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Management (IRFM) Certification Program and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
“With more certification schemes signing up and achieving recognition as well as global buyers building GSSI into their sourcing policies, GSSI delivers on its objectives of building confidence in certified seafood and creating a level playing field based on the FAO guidelines,” GSSI Program Director Herman Wisse said.