Add two more species of finfish and shellfish to the list of species represented by the industry-leading Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program.
China’s Jiangsu Kuntai Agriculture Development Co. Ltd. has earned BAP certification for its farm producing topmouth culter (Culter alburnus) and Oriental river prawn (Macrobrachium nipponense), the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced on April 12. The farm is located in Jiangning district, Nanjing city, Jiangsu province. A ceremony was held on April 7 to celebrate the accomplishment.
This is the second BAP-U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) project supported by the U.S. Soybean Export Council and Fishery & Technology Extension Station of Jiangsu province, following China’s Liyang Qianmatang Chenqiang Special Aquaculture Co. Ltd., which became the world’s first BAP-certified certified yellow catfish farm in February. Nanjing Academy of Fishery Science also supported the project.
“It is imperative to shift from high density farming to more sustainable practices. Now the rearing density of our fish farm is no more than 1,500 kilograms per acre and our prawn farm is no more than 50 kilograms per acre,” said Wei Jiang, CEO of Kuntai Co. Ltd. “With the domestic market consuming more farmed seafood, more supermarket and foodservice companies are recognizing BAP certification in China.”
Wei Jiang said his farm doesn’t use chilled feed or feed with added antibiotics to protect the environment and the animal’s health. He added that, in recent years, Kuntai Co. Ltd. has improved water quality and thus the surrounding environment through standardized and ecological transformation. This makes the fish and shrimp at the farm “live” better and attract high-than-average prices. Kuntai Co. Ltd. sells around 600,000 kilograms of topmouth culter and 50,000 kilograms of Oriental river prawn.
Added Guoqin Zhou, director of Nanjing Fisheries Research Institute, “The successful BAP certification of Kuntai farm has a demonstration effect on the development of green aquaculture in Nanjing. Besides, the successful certification is also supported by a standardized farming system in Nanjing city which helps with the sustainable development of aquaculture.”
Ping Ye, director of Nanjing Fishery Department, said the Nanjing aquaculture industry, pointing to Kuntai farm as an example, is speeding up the pace of modern aquaculture development. The government allocated a special fund of more than 70 million yuan last year. Ultimately, it ecologically transformed about 32,000 acres of farms and constructed 40 points of the standardized discharge of aquaculture wastewater. At the same time, the proportion of health aquaculture demonstration area reached 66 percent in the city.
“We would like to congratulate the Kuntai Farm for their successful completion of BAP certification, and thank our partners USSEC and Jiangsu Extension for helping make this happen. Adding two new species to the certified list is certainly an achievement we can all be proud of. But even more importantly the fact that these are being certified to provide the same level of international assurances that BAP provides to markets all around the world highlights the growing importance of responsible seafood to Chinese markets,” said Steven Hart, GAA’s VP of market development.
With the addition of topmouth culter and Oriental river prawn, there are now 31 farmed seafood represented by the BAP program, including channel catfish. BAP continues to grow, ending 2020 with 2,918 BAP-certified facilities in 39 countries, up 10.7 percent from the end of 2019.
A division of Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture production chain – including processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills. BAP standards cover environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety and animal welfare. The BAP program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.