Editor’s note: The Global Aquaculture Alliance is among the more than 1,000 companies and organizations exhibiting at Seafood Expo North America in Boston. Please visit booth No. 481 or check here regularly for updates from GAA and the Best Aquaculture Practice program. The three-day show runs through March 18.

20140317_134949Monday, March 17, 2:15 p.m. — GAA’s Mini-GOAL seminar at Seafood Expo North America went off without a hitch, with about 75 people in attendance.

The seminar started with three, 15-minute presentations: GAA President George Chamberlain on early mortality syndrome and health management, BAP Standards Coordinator Dan Lee on aquafeed and sustainability and BAP VP of Business Development Peter Redmond on the marketplace.

The seminar ended with a question-and-answer session featuring Avrim Lazar, principal consultant for the Global Salmon Initiative; Ricardo Garcia, general manager of Camanchaca; and Scott Williams, associate VP of quality assurance and environmental stewardship for BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Thanks to all who attended.

photo-4Monday, March 17, 10 a.m. — GAA’s closed-door meeting with about 15 leading U.S. and Canadian retailers just wrapped up. Led by Molly Jacques, BAP’s market development manager for North America, the meeting provided retailers with a forum to share ideas with their peers and address their challenges with sourcing farmed seafood responsibly so that GAA can help find potential solutions.

GAA President George Chamberlain gave an update on early mortality syndrome, followed by a question-and-answer session addressing everything from disease control and social compliance to feed sustainability and animal welfare.

Monday, March 17, 8:45 a.m. — GAA kicked off Day 2 of Seafood Expo North America with an announcement: Peter Marshall, founder and former CEO of Global Trust Certification, will chair a new Zone Management Technical Committee to initiate the process of drafting BAP standards for zone management. Zone management, or spatial planning, involves measuring the collective impacts of aquaculture at the ecosystem level. In addition to protecting the ecosystem, zone management is intended to reduce the risk of disease.

photo-3Sunday, March 16, 4:15 p.m. — Day 1 of Seafood Expo North America is beginning to wind down, but GAA booth No. 481 is as busy as ever.

Sunday, March 16, 3 p.m. — Iain Shone of Lyons Seafoods, a GAA board and executive committee member, was among the panelists in a seminar titled “Lessons Learned: How the Shrimp Industry Can Recover and Be More Sustainable in a Post-EMS World.” Shone talked about the impact that early mortality syndrome has had on Lyons Seafoods and the industry at large, and called on producers to be more transparent in their efforts to manage the debilitating disease.

“In terms of my experience of visiting our supply chain, I’ve been to some farmers who are doing nothing to battle EMS, waiting for the solution to be brought to them. And I’ve been to some farmers who are experimenting with potential solutions in an impressive way. They have a strategy to combat the disease,” said Shone. “Our customers want to know more about [the industry’s] strategy for fighting this disease. It’s very frustrating as a buyer when a supplier seems reticent to tell us what they’re doing.”

Also at the seminar, GAA Communications Manager Steven Hedlund gave a brief update on GAA’s recently launched EMS case study, which will act as a foundation for recommendations to the aquaculture community for better shrimp-farming practices. The crux of the case study is a comprehensive survey of shrimp farms in six countries in Asia and Latin America that consistently achieve good results even though neighboring farms are impaired by EMS.

Sunday, March 16, 2:15 p.m. — Social media enthusiasts beware: GAA is sponsoring the 4th Annual iPura Tweet & Blogfest at Seafood Expo North America. The oganization is giving away a free registration to its GOAL 2014 conference (a value of up to $2,000) to the SENA attendee who best captures of the portrayal of seafood sustainability through social media. There’s still plenty of time to participate.

unday, March 16, 2:15 p.m. — Social media enthusiasts beware: GAA is sponsoring the 4th Annual iPura Tweet & Blogfest at Seafood Expo North America. The oganization is giving away a free registration to its GOAL 2014 conference (a value of up to $2,000) to the SENA attendee who best captures of the portrayal of seafood sustainability through social media. There’s still plenty of time to participate.

screen-shot-2014-03-17-at-11-51-07-amSunday, March 16, 11:45 a.m. — The Best Aquaculture Practices logo is peppered through Seafood Expo North America in booth and advertising signage. Pasted to the stairs between the show floor and the front entrance is the BAP logo in a True North Salmon advertisement. Last month, Cooke Aquaculture earned BAP certification at the processing plant, farm and feed mill levels, allowing it to offer three-star salmon.

“The BAP certification is a natural continuation of our company’s long-term commitment to quality seafood and responsible production,” said Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke in an e-mail encouraging recipients to visit its booth (No. 1233). “A healthy marine environment is vital to our operations, and certification through third parties ensures that we remain sustainable in our practices and helps us set goals for improvement. The BAP certification is well known and respected in the marketplace.”

Sunday, March 16, 11 a.m. — GAA’s membership meeting just wrapped up, with about 35 people in attendance. The meeting touched on many of the same highlights from the preceding board meeting and included an update on early mortality syndrome from GAA President George Chamberlain.

For more information on EMS, attend GAA’s Mini-GOAL seminar on Monday from 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in Room 153AB of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. (Please note that a conference passport is required from the show organizer to attend this and other seminars.)

Sunday, March 16, 10 a.m. — The show floor is open! Please visit GAA booth No. 481 for information on the Best Aquaculture Practices third-party certification program, GAA membership and GAA’s GOAL 2014 conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from Oct. 7 to 10.

photo-1_001Sunday, March 16, 9:45 a.m. — GAA’s board meeting is in the books. Highlights of the 90-minute meeting included:

• BAP Director Bill More gave an update on the BAP program, which witnessed significant growth last year. In 2013, the BAP program experienced a 31% increase in the number of facilities certified, a 29% increase in the volume of product originating from BAP-certified processing plants and an impressive 57% increase in the volume of product originating from BAP-certified farms.

• BAP VP of Business Development Peter Redmond talked about market development at the retail/foodservice level and at the production level, including GAA’s activities in Greece and Turkey (BAP is organizing two workshops on responsible aquaculture in the Mediterranean in May), in China with Wuhan Lanesync Supply Chain Management Co. Ltd. (GAA is exhibiting at the company’s Food Products and Ingredients Expo of China next week), in Vietnam (GAA is working with Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers) and in the United States (GAA had a productive meeting with Monterey Bay Aquarium in February after its Standards Oversight Committee meeting).

• GAA’s nominating committee reported that Wally Stevens, who announced in November 2013 that he’s transitioning from his role as executive director of GAA to the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation (RAF), GAA’s charitable arm, will stay on as GAA’s executive director until the search committee has completed its work and submitted a proposed replacement to GAA’s executive committee for approval.

• GAA’s nominating committee re-nominated GAA’s George Chamberlain, Jim Heerin and Jeff Fort, Bill Herzig of Darden Aquafarms, Lee Bloom of Eastern Fish and Iain Shone of Lyons Seafoods to additional one-year terms on the executive committee. The nominating committee also re-nominated Chamberlain, Heerin, Herzig, Shone, Sergio Nates of ALAPRE, Shah Faiez of Lobster Aquaculture Technologies, John Galiher of Preferred Freezer Services, Laura Garrido of Pescanova USA and Robins McIntosh of CP Group to additional two-year terms on the GAA board.

Sunday, March 16, 8 a.m. — GAA’s activities at Seafood Expo North America are under way! GAA’s board meeting is about to kick off in Room 205C of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.