THAILAND - In an important step toward responsible aquaculture in Thailand, Best Aquaculture Partners (BAP) has become the first Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified shrimp farm in the Kingdom.
ASC is the most stringent international standard for aquaculture, and BAP’s certification reflects both their commitment to sustainability and the growing global demand for responsibly produced goods.
To become ASC certified, a farm must meet strict standards for environmental and social responsibility, including fair labor practices. These certification standards benefit not only businesses, but also communities, consumers and the environment. By getting certified, aquaculture producers reduce their impacts on the environment and the communities they work with, and are able to tap into the growing Thai and global markets for responsibly produced seafood.
“BAP’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification is a first for Thailand and a huge step forward for responsible aquaculture in Thailand,” said Suriya Ratipattarawong, Senior Aquaculture Officer at WWF-Thailand. “By taking the lead in reducing their environmental and social impacts, they are showing that the private sector has an important role to play in sustainability.”
WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative (MTI) and Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) worked with BAP to help them achieve ASC certification. WWF helped BAP analyze the gaps between their operations and ASC standards then develop and execute an action plan to improve their practices.
BAP’s operations were then rigorously evaluated by third party auditors to ensure they are minimising their impact on the environment by using resources efficiently, cutting out chemicals and antibiotics, and conserving biodiversity and important natural ecosystems. The auditors also assessed their labor practices and transparency and responsiveness to local communities about their impacts.
“ASC certification helps us to maintain our customers who are demanding for sustainable practices of our shrimp farms. This is the new trend from all part of the world including USA, Europe and Australia. We foresee more and more requirement of this ASC certification in the coming near future. Not only we can keep our customers happy, we expect with new learning and maintaining up to ASC standard, our farms will be beneficial to ourselves and the community as well as surrounding environment of our farms. We hope to be the leader in Thailand for all these perspective,” said Poj aramwattananont, Ph.D., President of Wales Group Company.
BAP’s certification is the first step toward more responsible, sustainable aquaculture in Thailand that meets international standards and provides access to international markets. International exports are critical to the Thai aquaculture industry: in 2015, seafood exports were valued at
208 billion Thai baht ($5.9 billion USD), and 30 per cent of shrimp production was exported. There is growing global concern about the environmental and social impacts of aquaculture, and Thai producers risk losing access to these key markets if they cannot prove that their operations meet international standards.
“By proactively moving toward international certification through ASC, Thai aquaculture producers can invest in the future of their business and the environment,” Ratipattarawong added. “WWF stands ready to work with any Thai companies who want to achieve a sustainable and profitable future.”
TheFishSite News Desk
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