Vietnamese firm first in shrimp to get BAP group certification

Stapimex is the world’s first shrimp operation, and the second across all species, to successfully complete the new Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) group farm program, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced on Thursday.

Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company (Stapimex), one of Vietnam’s largest shrimp producers, earned BAP certification for six of its shrimp farm sites located in Vietnam’s Soc Trang province.

The BAP certification was sponsored by US-based National Fish & Seafood, part of Pacific Andes International Holdings.

“We are extremely pleased that the first shrimp farm group has achieved international recognition through BAP certification,” said Jeff Sedacca, president of National Fish’s shrimp division.

“This historic milestone will make it possible for the thousands of smallholder shrimp farms around the world to meet the environmental and social standards of the BAP program and achieve certification gaining access to international markets,” said Sedacca.

This project is the result of a year-and-a-half collaboration between Stapimex, National Fish and GAA, he said.

“There are literally hundreds of thousands of farms around the world, and not having this type of program severely limits the ability for any certification program to be effective beyond the ‘top’ farms,” said Peter Redmond, BAP’s vice president of market development.

For group farms, a subset of the total number of sites is audited; the ability to qualify for group requires an applicant to implement strict and consistent internal controls across all of its operations.

Marine Harvest Canada was the world’s first operation to attain BAP certification through the group farm program.

The BAP group farm program is separate from an integrated operating module, in which groups of medium- to small-sized farms are organized under the sponsorship of a processor, farmer cooperative or association, or other legally recognized entity.