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Revised BAP standards include RAS farms

March 9, 2021  By  Nestor Arellano

(Image from BAP)

The latest version of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Farm Standard contains provision covering recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and flow-through  fish farms.

The BAP is a seafood-specific certification program that addresses the four key areas of sustainability – environmental, social, food safety, and animal health and welfare – at each step of the aquaculture production chain. The certification program was developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance. The GAA is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to advocacy, education and leadership in responsible aquaculture.

Issue 3.0 of the renamed BAP Farm Standard replaces Issue 2.4 of the BAP Finfish and Crustacean Farm Standard. The standard will be mandatory for new and re-certifying facilities as of March 1, 2022. It was released after a 60-day public comment period that expired on Sept. 26, 2020.


Issue 3.0 “adds a number of new requirements under BAP’s four pillars of sustainability — food safety, social accountability, environmental responsibility and animal welfare,” according to GAA.

The new standard covers all feed-fed finfish and crustacean species. A separate set of standards continue to exist for salmonids raised in marine net pens (covered by the BAP Salmon Farm Standard) and unfed mollusk species such as mussels, clams and oysters (covered by the BAP Mollusk Standard).

The new requirements in Issue 3.0 of the BAP Farm Standard include:

• Specific consideration for environmental requirements for reservoir/lake-based cage farms, RAS and coastal flow-through farms

• A ban on antimicrobials designated as critically important for human medicine by the World Health Organization

• Additional social accountability clauses related to equality and worker safety

• Additional wildlife protection clauses about acoustic deterrent devices and entanglement

• Clarity on metrics such as feed conversion ratio, fish in/fish out ratio and effluent nutrient loads

• The scope of Issue 3.0 includes “fed” mollusks such as abalone as well as sea cucumbers and other aquatic invertebrates grown in land-based facilities

Issue 3.0 of the BAP Farm Standard can be viewed in its entirety here.

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