GSA releases new RAS vanguard standard

Published on
May 18, 2022
The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) has released a new Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standard for recirculating aquaculture systems.

The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) has released a new Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standard for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for public review. The 60-day public comment period will commence 5 May, 2022 and end 4 July, 2022.

BAP is a third-party certificaiton program developed by GSA to ensure and advance environmentally and socially responsible seafood. The BAP RAS vanguard standard was introduced to encourage rapid development to recognize and incentivize promising advances and leading-edge innovations in RAS farms, according to GSA. 

In order to participate in the new RAS vanguard standard, producers must already be certified to BAP Farm Standard 3.0. The RAS standard and its predecessor, the finfish and crustacean farm standard 2.4, incorporate fundamental requirements for RAS facilities to meet for certification, GSA said. The RAS BAP certification includes an enhanced social accountability and employee health and safety audit standard and a raised without antibiotics standard.

"The new RAS vanguard standard addresses many potential issues of RAS farms, including resource use and impacts, water-use efficiency, waste management, circular economies, energy-use efficiency and use of renewable energy, and animal welfare," GSA said in a press release.

The RAS vanguard standard will encompass all species of finfish, but shellfish, seaweed, or aquatic plants cannot be certified under the standard at this time, GSA said. As part of GSA’s goals to incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the RAS vanguard standard intends to set milestones that align to the greatest extent possible with SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SEG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production; and SDG 14, Life Below Water.

Producers certified to a vanguard standard are listed on the BAP vanguard webpage and authorized to publicize their special status to stakeholders. GSA said its goal with the vanguard certification program is to eventually guide the aquaculture industry to a widespread adoption of best practices to drive industry-wide improvements. GSA said it eventually plans to incorporate its vanguard standards into mainstream BAP standards.

Photo courtesy of Global Seafood Alliance

Contributing editor reporting from Hawaii, U.S.A.

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