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April 23, 2014

United States

GAA’s BAP Standards on Farmed Shrimp Get Good Rating from MBA


The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has announced that its two-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) shrimp standards have received a “Good Alternative” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program.  Seafood Watch recommends that consumers, chefs and businesses consider farmed shrimp assessed under the BAP standards as a “buy” option.


In order to meet the Seafood Watch’s “Good Alternative” standard, GAA strengthened its certification requirements for habitat mitigation, water discharge and escapes.


Peter Redmond, Vice President of BAP Market Development at GAA, said, “We are proud of the association with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, and hope to build on this relationship for years to come.”


Completed in March 2013, the BAP farm standards for finfish and crustaceans address environmental and social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability more rigorously than the standards they replaced, including the BAP farm standards for shrimp.


“Seafood Watch has benchmarked more than 30 fisheries and aquaculture eco-standards developed under robust eco-certification programs,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.  “We strongly support the concept of independent eco-certification programs to identify sustainable seafood options.  Our benchmarking assessment is a way to recognize the growing number of robust programs in the marketplace.  Seafood buyers can have confidence that BAP-certified farmed shrimp is raised in an environmentally responsible manner.”


The designation of farmed shrimp certified to BAP two-star, three-star and four-star standards as equivalent to a Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” increases the volume of farmed, warmwater shrimp in the marketplace that is a more environmentally responsible option for consumers and businesses.


At the end of 2013, the annual output of BAP-certified shrimp farms totaled 132,000 metric tons.



What is Seafood Watch?


The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses purchase environmentally friendly shrimp.  Its recommendations are science-based, peer reviewed and use ecosystem-based criteria.  On its website, Seafood Watch has a table that lists 19 shrimp categories and rates them as “best choices”, “good alternatives”, and products to “avoid”.  For an explanation of why the shrimp were ranked as they were, click on the link in the left hand column of the table and then scroll to the bottom of the page.


Of the ten farmed shrimp categories on the table, three are ranked as “best choices”:


• Freshwater prawnsgrown in the United States

• White shrimpgrown in recirculating systems or inland ponds in the United States

• Tiger shrimp grown in environmentally friendly mangrove systems in Southeast Asia


Five farmed shrimp categories are ranked as “good alternatives”:


• White shrimpgrown in fully recirculation systems in Thailand

• White shrimpgrown in open systems in the United States

• White and tiger shrimp certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council

• White and tiger shrimp certified by Naturland

• White and tiger shrimp certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s BAP program \


Seafood Watch conducted an eco-certification benchmarking study to identify which standards were consistent with its sustainability criteria.  It identified the Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP Certified Farmed Shrimp standard as equivalent to at least its yellow “Good Alternative” recommendation.


Two farmed shrimp categories are ranked as products to “avoid”:


• Pacific white shrimp farmed in open systems in Mexico

• Imported white and tiger shrimp grown in open systems


Of the nine wild shrimp categories on the table, two are ranked “best choices”, four are ranked “good alternatives” and three are ranked as products to “avoid”.


Information: Peter Redmond, Global Aquaculture Alliance, 4111 Telegraph Road, Suite 302, St. Louis, Missouri 63129, USA (phone 1-904-372-4805, email, webpage


Information: Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch Program, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940, USA (phone 1-831-648-4800, webpage


Sources: 1.  Editor, Sean Murphy (  MBA: GAA Farmed Shrimp “Good Alternative”.  April 22, 2014.  2. Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Seafood Watch Table of Shrimp Ratings at Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Website Visit on April 22, 2014.

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