BAP program officially recognized by GSSI
The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program successfully completed its public consultation and committee review with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), and has been officially recognized by the benchmarking group, BAP officials announced on Wednesday, 4 October, during the GAA’s GOAL 2017 conference in Dublin, Ireland.
The BAP program is now the world’s first third-party aquaculture certification program recognized by GSSI, with two-star certification against the BAP Finfish and Crustacean Farm Standards and BAP Salmon Farm Standards in alignment with the Essential Components of the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool. The program joins other GSSI-approved schemes such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, Iceland Responsible Fisheries certification and Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification.
To achieve its recognition, BAP had to undergo a 30-day public consultation period, and then a review by a GSSI Benchmark Committee before the GSSI Steering Board arrived at its final decision this week. The rigorous process, which began back in December 2015, was a team effort, explained BAP Standards Coordinator Dan Lee, and the positive result holds great significance to everyone involved.
“It means a lot to us, it’s been a big team effort,” said Lee.
“You’re known by the company that you keep. And that’s pretty good company,” GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens added. “We are pleased to receive this recognition of our Best Aquaculture Practices program. The BAP program was first implemented in 2003 and this year will reach a milestone of 2,000 certified facilities around the world with anticipated farm-gate production exceeding 2 million metric tons. BAP, which currently provides the most comprehensive assurances to the marketplace and consumers, has benefited from the GSSI benchmarking process, as have, we suspect, the folks involved from GSSI."
“The GSSI Benchmark Tool provides clarity on, and transparency in, seafood certification by recognizing robust and credible certification schemes. The BAP is the first aquaculture scheme to successfully complete the GSSI Benchmark Process. This marks a milestone in ensuring confidence in seafood certification, and we look forward to seeing other aquaculture schemes go through the process,” said GSSI Program Director Herman Wisse, in a news release.