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What makes BAP the most comprehensive aquaculture certification available?

“We believe the BAP standards are the best and, in fact, we use it for our own private-label products.”

 — Lee French, Price Chopper Supermarkets

What are the Best Aquaculture Practices standards?

The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards address environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety and traceability in a voluntary certification program for aquaculture facilities. BAP certification defines the most important elements of responsible aquaculture and provides quantitative, science-based guidelines by which to evaluate adherence to those practices.

The BAP program outlines standards for each type of facility, from hatchery and feed mill to farm and processing plant: BAP Standards & Guidelines.

Who defines the BAP standards?

The BAP standards are drafted by technical committees made up of members representing a broad range of stakeholders and overseen by a Standards Oversight Committee. The BAP standards are more comprehensive than those of other certification systems. Although individual standards vary by facility type, all BAP standards address community and employee relations, conservation of biodiversity, soil and water management, and drug and chemical management.

What aquaculture species do the standards address?

In addition to its coverage of shrimp, salmon, tilapia, Pangasius, channel catfish and mussels, BAP certification is available for facilities that produce species that include but are not limited to seabass, sea bream, cobia, seriola, trout, grouper, barramundi, perch, carp, flounder, turbot, striped bass, crabs, clams, oysters, scallops, abalone, freshwater prawns and crawfish.

View BAP Standards and Guidelines.

Do the standards cover multi-species facilities?

Yes, the recent addition of multi-species hatchery standards for finfish and crustacean production opened up the program to many new species for four-star certification. The BAP multi-species farm standards apply to all types of production systems for finfish and crustaceans, excluding cage-raised salmonids, which retain separate BAP standards. The multi-species standards focus on culture systems, but maintain unique species-related aspects, where applicable.

How are BAP standards initiated or updated?

The BAP standards are created or updated via species-specific technical committees under the guidance of a Standards Oversight Committee (SOC), which is comprised of members with broad stakeholder representation.

To initiate standards, the SOC works with GAA’s standards coordinator to form a technical committee that collectively writes a set of draft standards. After review by the SOC, the standards are modified, if needed, and posted for 60 days of public comment. Committee consideration of comments leads to a final draft that must be approved by the SOC and Global Aquaculture Alliance board before implementation.

Read complete details on the standards development process and BAP committee structure and selection: BAP Standards Development Process.

How does a facility begin the certification process?

To apply for BAP certification, please review the information on the Get Certified page, including the standards and guidelines, as well as certification application forms.

To become BAP-certified, a facility must comply with the requirements stated in the BAP standards and application form. Applicants can obtain additional details on the program, certification process and costs by contacting the BAP office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA — +1-603-317-5000, bap@gaalliance.org.

Are there BAP marketing resources available?

Yes, visit GAA’s marketing toolkit for BAP marketing resources.