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GAA Reiterates Commitment to Social Justice

June, 2014

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is fully committed to social justice as one of the key pillars of its responsible aquaculture program. Social issues are prominently addressed within GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program. BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills are required to meet standards for adequate wages, a safe and healthy working environment and the prevention of child labor and forced labor.

Together with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and GLOBALG.A.P., GAA on June 24 released a joint statement addressing social responsibility. The three organizations have been working together since signing a memorandum of understanding in April 2013. Click here to read the statement.

The BAP feed mill standards address the environmental sustainability of reduction fisheries by requiring that by June 1, 2015, a minimum of 50% of the fishmeal and fish oil derived from reduction fisheries or fishery by-products must originate from certified sources. The preferred standards recognized by BAP for certification of reduction fisheries are the Marine Stewardship Council’s environmental standard for sustainable fishing and IFFO’s global standard for responsible supply. The BAP feed mill standards also support responsible sourcing of marine ingredients by requiring traceability and transparency.

Solutions to this difficult issue—the use of forced labor aboard fishing vessels that provide raw material used in aquaculture feeds—are needed by aquaculture feed companies like CP Foods, which depend, in part, on locally sourced fishmeal to manufacture shrimp feeds. CP Foods is an integrated company with a commitment to responsible practices as evidenced by its achievement of four-star BAP certification for its farmed shrimp. The company has 10 BAP-certified shrimp facilities—one processing plant, three farms, two hatcheries on four feed mills.

Since its inception in 1997, GAA has proactively addressed issues by working with stakeholders to find practical solutions that can be implemented quickly and continuously improved over time. To address the issue of social justice aboard fishing vessels for reduction fisheries, GAA will include this as a key topic at a day-long feed workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 7, in advance of the organization’s annual GOAL (Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership) conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

GAA will convene many of the world’s leading seafood non-governmental organizations to discussion solutions to this difficult issue. GAA recognizes that all relevant organizations and government agencies need to be at the table if solutions are to be realized. For more information on the GOAL 2014 program and the Oct. 7 feed workshop, click here or contact GAA Communications Manager Steven Hedlund at steven.hedlund@gaalliance.org.