The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) division held two successful workshops in southern Chile in late January.
The first workshop in Puerto Montt on January 29 covered the BAP seafood processing plant standards and BAP salmon farm standards, while the second workshop in Castro, Chiloé, on January 31 covered the BAP seafood processing plant and BAP mussel farm standards.
The workshops were taught by Jeff Peterson, BAP director of quality control, Consuelo Salazar, seafood program coordinator for NSF-Chile, and Dr. Alejandro Buschmann, a professor at Universidad de los Lagos and a member of GAA’s Standards Oversight Committee (SOC).
A total of 57 people representing all segments of the aquaculture industry attended the two workshops.
The Puerto Montt workshop centered on updates to the BAP salmon farm standards and overall performance of Chilean facilities against the standards. Salazar provided useful insight into how various clauses are being interpreted by NSF-Chile, with BAP guidance, which ignited stimulating discussions. Bushmann offered valuable perspective on the science behind the BAP standards.
The Castro workshop focused on implementation of the new BAP mussel farm standards, which were completed last August. Logistics support was provided by AMICHILE and the Chiloé Mussel Producers Association.
Regarding Chile’s mussel farming industry, Peterson said the country has implemented a rigorous set of regulations under the National Aquaculture Law. Implementation is overseen by SERNAPESCA (the country’s national fisheries service) and the Chilean Navy, which oversees boat operations and safety as well as domestic sanitary conditions on salmon operations vessels (house boats) and mussel harvesting platforms.
By adhering to local and national laws, Chilean facilities are also in compliance with many of the clauses in the BAP standards, including meeting requirements for proper pay and benefits to workers, diver safety, sediment monitoring and even controlling biomass densities at salmon farms through aquaculture zoning regulations.
“The sophistication of Chilean aquaculture is impressive both in its scope and level of attention to internationally important issues,” said Peterson.
“While the Chilean aquaculture industry has shown impressive growth and commitment to proactively addressing problems, tough challenges remain,” added Buschmann. “Infectious salmon anemia (ISA) is not completely eradicated, Piscirekettsia (bacteria) and Caligus (sea lice) are a constant threat, and controlling these animal health issues will require ongoing industry effort and government oversight.”
To download PDFs of the BAP mussel farm standards, salmon farm standards, seafood processing plant standards and others, click here.