How BAP Certification Is Improving Trust in Farm-Raised Fish
In June, our ocean-farmed barramundi became four-star certified under the BAP certification program.
BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) is one of the most comprehensive and best-known certification systems for ensuring the sustainability of aquaculture products. Four-star certification indicates that the entire system—from feed mill to hatchery, the farm to processing plant—comply with BAP’s standards.
This means that Australis Barramundi are fully traceable and adhere to these widely recognized standards for responsible aquaculture.
Why BAP Exists
Aquaculture currently provides more than fifty percent of all seafood consumed by humans. It’s also playing an increasingly important role in alleviating pressure on wild fisheries.
However, not all fish farms are created equal. Just like terrestrial farms, a wide variety of species, environments and farming practice are used by aquatic farmers. What defines proper management for different animals can become very nuanced. For consumers, it can be difficult to stay on top of this information on your own to make informed choices.
This is why the BAP certification exists. BAP helps to assure consumers that the seafood they buy is produced in a manner that is considerate of the animal’s welfare, the environment, workforce and community, food safety, and traceability.
What Does the BAP Certification Cover?
BAP’s science-based assessment covers the entire seafood production chain. The level of comprehensiveness is unique in the world of sustainability certification. Independent, third-party certification bodies and auditors evaluate companies that own various steps in the production chain. The four stages include:
- Feed Mill
- Processing Plant
BAP certifies and award stars for each of the four major parts of the supply chain. In order for Australis to obtain four-star certification for our barramundi, our feed supplier had to adhere to BAP standards and become certified. “We worked closely with our feed supplier for many years to upgrade the sustainability and traceability of locally available ingredients, which was the final piece of the puzzle to secure BAP four-star certification,” says Australis CEO, Josh Goldman.
So, only when the feed supplier, hatchery, farm, and processing plant are all certified and work together does an aquaculture product receive a four-star certification. There are currently approximately 50 companies in the world capable of offering four-star BAP products, but this number is growing.
Although there are many certification programs that assess sustainable seafood production, BAP’s program is currently the most comprehensive for aquaculture.
How to Support Responsible Aquaculture
Look for the BAP-certified logo on packaging or shop at a BAP-endorsed retailer.