Two-star, three-star and four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) pangasius standards of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) certified in Vietnam 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 pangasius assessed under the BAP standards as a good alternative purchasing option.
The determination came after an extensive 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.
“We continue to develop a closer and more collaborative relationship with the aquarium,” said Peter Redmond, BAP vice president of market development. “We have strived for years to deliver high-quality seafood to the marketplace that is farmed in a responsible way. Receiving recognition from the Seafood Watch program for our farmed pangasius is fantastic.”
Completed in March 2013, the BAP farm standards for finfish and crustaceans — including the standards for pangasius — address environmental and social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability more rigorously than the standards they replaced.
“We have benchmarked more than 30 fisheries and aquaculture eco-standards against our sustainability standards,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. “We strongly support the concept of 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.”
The designation of farmed pangasius certified to BAP two-star, three-star and four-star standards as equivalent to a Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” significantly increases the volume of farmed pangasius in the marketplace that is a more environmentally responsible option for consumers and businesses.
“The GAA has demonstrated great commitment to recognizing better performers in aquaculture, and seafood buyers can have confidence that farmed pangasius certified to these BAP standards is raised in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Kemmerly.
Since its inception in 1999, Seafood Watch has become North America’s leading source of science-based information to help transform the seafood market in ways that preserve healthy ecosystems and sustain ocean wildlife.
“Today, more than 100,000 business locations in North America rely on Seafood Watch science to inform their seafood purchasing decisions,” said Kemmerly. “Benchmarking the many robust eco-certification programs against Seafood Watch criteria means these businesses have hundreds more seafood options to choose from.”
For more information, visit www.seafoodwatch.org.
Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain – farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills – that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means.
Source: Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA)