MBA: GAA farmed shrimp ‘good alternative’

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
April 22, 2014

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) announced its two-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) shrimp standards are equivalent to a yellow “Good Alternative” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program. Seafood Watch will recommend that consumers, chefs and businesses consider farmed shrimp assessed under the BAP standards as a “buy” option.

The determination came after an evaluation of BAP farm standards for finfish and crustaceans conducted by the Seafood Watch science staff. The process of benchmarking existing eco-certification programs against Seafood Watch criteria began more than two years ago when Seafood Watch business partners sought guidance in navigating a marketplace of proliferating global eco-certification programs.

In order to meet the Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” recommendation bar, the GAA strengthened its certification requirements for habitat mitigation, water discharge and escapes.

“This is a landmark recognition for the BAP certification program,” said Peter Redmond, BAP market development VP. “We have strived for years to deliver high-quality seafood to the marketplace that is farmed in a responsible way.

“We are very pleased with this positive benchmarking by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and would like to thank all those involved in making this happen,” Redmond said. “We are proud of the association with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, and hope to build on this relationship for years to come.”

Completed in March 2013, the BAP farm standards for finfish and crustaceans address environmental and social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability more rigorously than the standards they replaced, including the BAP farm standards for shrimp.

“Seafood Watch has benchmarked more than 30 fisheries and aquaculture eco-standards developed under robust eco-certification programs,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. “We strongly support the concept of independent eco-certification programs to identify sustainable seafood options. Our benchmarking assessment is a way to recognize the growing number of robust programs in the marketplace.

“Seafood buyers can have confidence that BAP-certified farmed shrimp is raised in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Kemmerly. 

The designation of farmed shrimp certified to BAP two-star, three-star and four-star standards as equivalent to a Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” increases the volume of farmed, warmwater shrimp in the marketplace that is a more environmentally responsible option for consumers and businesses.

At the end of 2013, the annual output of BAP-certified shrimp farms totaled 132,000 metric tons.

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