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Why is BAP certification important?

“Aquaculture has grown at an impressive rate over the past decades. It has helped to produce more food fish, kept the overall price of fish down, and made fish and seafood more accessible to consumers around the world. ”*

 — World Bank

What is BAP?

The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program is an international certification system that verifies environmentally and socially responsible processes under which farmed shrimp, salmon, tilapia, Pangasius, mussels and other finfish and crustacean species are produced.

BAP-certified farms, hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants have traceability documentation and certification that assures retail, foodservice and wholesale buyers the aquaculture operations apply responsible aquaculture practices that minimize environmental impacts, respect workers’ rights and produce wholesome products.

BAP certification defines the most important elements of responsible aquaculture and provides quantitative guidelines by which to evaluate adherence to those practices. The Global Aquaculture Alliance developed the BAP aquaculture certification program, with the first BAP standards for shrimp farms completed in 2003. GAA has since continued to expand, update and improve the BAP standards.

Why procure BAP-certified seafood?

Aquaculture facilities that participate in BAP certification apply standardized best management practices in every phase of their operations to ensure food safety, environmental integrity, social responsibility, animal welfare and traceability.

Seafood produced under BAP standards is better for the environment, better for your customers and better for the greater global community. The comprehensive BAP standards go well beyond other aquaculture certification programs by addressing much more than important environmental issues. BAP addresses social justice to protect workers, animal welfare to safeguard the health of the animals and food safety.

Are there BAP marketing resources available?

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

map-facilitesAre processing plants individually certified, or are associated operations certified, too?

There are more than 1,500 BAP-certified facilities worldwide. A growing number of these facilities are associated or integrated with other BAP-certified facilities. The BAP program recognizes product from associated or integrated facilities with a “star-based” ranking system.

BAP-4starsProduct produced by a BAP-certified processing plant, BAP-certified farm(s) only, BAP-certified hatchery only and BAP-certified feed mill only

BAP-3starsProduct produced by a BAP-certified processing plant, BAP-certified farm(s) only and BAP-certified hatchery and/or feed mill only

BAP-2starsProduct produced by a BAP-certified processing plant and BAP-certified farm(s) only

OneStar   Product produced by a BAP-certified processing plant

Search BAP-Certified Facilities

Note: An Integrated Operating Model pilot program has recently been launched to engage more small- and medium-scale aquaculture farms in the BAP certification process to increase the BAP-certified seafood supply.

How are BAP-certified seafood products identified?

Retailers can find the Best Aquaculture Practices label on the packing boxes of seafood containers delivered by suppliers. Also, individual packages containing a variety of frozen and prepared finfish and crustacean species have the BAP-certified mark printed on the packaging. A certification number near the center of the mark indicates where the product was processed.

We encourage retailers to display a sign that notifies consumers that seafood is “Best Aquaculture Practices Certified.” When the “Best Aquaculture Practices Certified” mark appears near the fresh seafood and on packaging, customers feel more confident that their seafood choice was produced and taken to market with care. Care for the environment, care for the community and care for keeping aquaculture sustainable — now and into the future.

Please note that in conformance with norms for food-safety certification schemes that meet the requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative Guidance Document v. 6, the use of the BAP logo does not signify that products from certified facilities meet specific food safety criteria.

Click here for more information on BAP logo usage, brand identity and product claims.

Where can I buy seafood from BAP-certified facilities?

The BAP Registered Buyer Program recognizes those seafood buyers who demonstrate support for responsibly produced aquaculture products. Click here for a list of companies that procure BAP-certified seafood products.

Additionally, the BAP program and Global Aquaculture Alliance recognize the retail and foodservice marketplace leaders who support aquaculture sustainability by endorsing the BAP program. Consumers are directed to find and buy seafood that has the “Best Aquaculture Practices Certified” retail mark at stores operated by these companies.

Major retailers worldwide have adopted Best Aquaculture Practices certification, including global leaders such as Walmart, Kroger, Darden Restaurants, Tesco and Morrisons, which specify BAP certification for their seafood suppliers. Become a BAP Market Endorser today! Email Steve Hedlund.

What are the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards?

The BAP standards for farms that raise finfish such as salmon, tilapia and Pangasius, crustaceans such as shrimp and mollusks such as mussels, clams, oysters and scallops call for biodiversity protection, effluent limits, worker safety and strict controls on chemical use. The seafood-processing plant standards reinforce existing HACCP plans and require the ability to trace products back through the supply chain to their sources. The seafood-processing plant standards are benchmarked against the latest Global Food Safety Initiative food-safety requirements. The feed mill standards require a move toward sustainable sources for feed ingredients.

BAP Standards & Guidelines

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. lliance Committee consideration of comments leads to a final draft that must be approved by the SOC and Global Aquaculture 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 the 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,

* Juergen Voegele, Director Agriculture and Environmental Services Department World Bank