Members of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) mollusk technical committee converged on the Deep Bay Marine Field Station at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia, Canada, in early October to hone the new BAP mollusk farm standards before their release for public comment.

The new standards will cover all major farmed mollusk species, including scallops, mussels, oysters, clams and abalone, and will eventually replace the existing BAP mussel farm standards.

20151005-20151005-_DSC7155The committee spent two days working through the content of the standards in great detail but also took time to observe local oyster farms at close quarters, thanks to the Field Station’s research vessel.

Brian Kingzett, chair of the Bap mollusk technical committee, is also the manager of the Deep Bay Marine Field Station that kindly hosted the meeting. Kingzett has been instrumental in ensuring that the committee membership represents the global scope of mollusk farming both in terms of geography and species diversity. He has also brought to bear his understanding of the main issues confronting North America’s the shellfish industry to inform the new standards.

“It has been a real pleasure to work with such a committed group,” said Kingzett. “Each has brought a unique set of knowledge and skills, and this has been reflected in their input into the draft standards.”

During the committee discussions, particular attention was paid to developing a workable approach to the topic of carrying capacity, with important additional expertise provided by Dr. Jon Grant of Dalhousie University, who is a member of the GAA zone management committee. The revised BAP mollusk farm standards will, subject to approval from the GAA Standard’s Oversight Committee, be released for a 60-day public comment period in November.

“All stakeholders will be encouraged to participate in this public comment exercise so that the finished standard can benefit from the most broad-based input possible,” said BAP Standards Coordinator Dan Lee.

This month’s BAP mollusk technical committee meeting built on a July meeting held at GAA’s office in St Louis, Missouri, USA.