Aquatic Life Institute benchmarks six eco-labels; Azerbaijan Fish Farm achieves BAP certification

Published on
September 19, 2023
GSF AIP launch

SeafoodSource is closely following the sustainable seafood movement by compiling a regular round-up of sector updates pertaining to sustainability initiatives and certifications.

-On 13 September, the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) reported the Baku-based Azerbaijan Fish Farm has achieved Best Aquaculture Certification certification for caviar production and sturgeon breeding.  

“We applaud Azerbaijan Fish Farm for becoming the first caviar farm to achieve BAP certification. This underscores their commitment to responsible practices and their dedication to environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety, and animal welfare,” GSA U.K. Market Development Representative Mike Berthet said in a release.

The company was established in 2017 and has pioneered sustainable sturgeon breeding and caviar production in Azerbaijan, according to GSA.

- The Aquaculture Stewardship Council announced the formal launch of its Improver Program at the Global Shrimp Forum on 7 September, in Utrecht, the Netherlands (pictured). 

The program was first announced in 2018 and is aimed at helping seafood farmers not yet ready to achieve certification with improving their practices and mitigating their social and environmental impacts. The first pilots were conducted in Indonesia with PT BMI, Sekar Bumi and JALA, and subsequent pilots have been initiated with Lenk Seafood Services and Luna Seafoods in Bangladesh.

The updated program includes a stronger emphasis on aquculture improvement projects (AIPs).

“The launch of this framework for credible AIPs, together with the support and investment that ASC aims to provide to the sector, will be a game changer to the industry,” ASC Global Lead Improver Program Roy van Daatselaar said in a release. “Processors and seafood importers can now start an AIP within their supply chain and receive direct support from the ASC in the form of capacity building. Retailers and seafood buyers can now go to our website and see how AIPs are progressing, following independent verification and transparent reporting on progress.”

Thai Union became one of ASC's first partners to implement its AIPs, with a pledge to enter 15,700 metric tons of shrimp production in the program by 2026.

 - The Aquatic Life Institute (ALI), aNew York City, U.S.A.-based organization advocating for higher standards for aquatic animal welfare, has published its second edition of the Aquaculture Certification Schemes Benchmark, which evaluated the Naturland, RSPCA Assured, GlobalG.A.P., Friend of the Sea, and Best Aquaculture Practices certifications to determine the effectiveness of their standards for water quality, stocking density, environmental enrichment, feed composition, and stunning and slaughter.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) came in first place, scoring 9.5 out of a possible 10 points, surpassing the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), which was first in the organization's initial report published in June 2022.

ALI said each eco-label it benchmarked showed improved scores in comparison to prior assessments. 

-The Global Seafood Alliance has launched a 60-day consultation for its Climate Action and Sourcing Vanguard Standard.

The CAS Vanguard Standard is a BAP certification that is applicable to feed mills, farms, and processing facilities, developed to reduce carbon footprints, and responsible ingredient sourcing. It was created to promote the improvement of Vanguard-certified facilities. The consultation is open for public commentary until 15 October.

Photo courtesy of Aquaculture Stewardship Council

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