Global Aquaculture Alliance adds BAP standards for mollusks

Published on
May 10, 2016

In a move that will likely boost the global value of farmed shellfish, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) added new Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) mollusk farm standards.

The new standards, which include anti-forced labor requirements, encompass all major farmed mollusk species, including mussels, scallops, oysters, clams and abalone. They also replace GAA’s existing BAP mussel farm standards.

“This represents a major milestone for the BAP program, which now encompasses virtually all aquaculture production systems for finfish, crustaceans and mollusks,” said GAA’s BAP Standards Coordinator Dan Lee.

At the end of March, there were 1,165 BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills worldwide.

The top five requirements of the new standards are:

  1. All work, including overtime, must be voluntary. “The facility shall not engage in any form of forced or bonded labor. This includes human trafficking, the holding of original identity papers, prohibiting workers from leaving the premises after their shift or other coercion intended to force anyone to work,” the standards state.
  2. The applicant shall comply with national child labor laws regarding minimum working age or ILO Minimum Age Convention 138, whichever is higher. ILO Minimum Age Convention 138 states the minimum age shall be 15, unless local law in developing nations is set at 14 – in accordance with developing nations exceptions under this convention.
  3. The facility shall maintain all relevant documents that verify any contracted and subcontracted workers, whether contracted through a labor service or otherwise, are paid in compliance with all local wage, hour and overtime laws.
  4. Where applicable, the applicant must demonstrate dialogue with local indigenous peoples and written policies and procedures for conflict resolution with them under the laws governing their rights. “The applicant shall record all conflicts, steps taken to resolve them and outcomes,” the standards state.
  5. For established cultivation sites, the applicant shall provide evidence of responsible practices in setting stocking densities appropriate to local conditions, including biological measurements of growth rate and/or meat yield, during a period of at least three culture cycles prior to application, or for as long as the cultivation site has been in operation, if for less than three cycles.
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