How do We Grow Safe and Sustainable Aquaculture for All?
Aquaculture is an important source of protein for human consumption and now contributes more than half the total weight of seafood available per capita. Certification programs can help to ensure safe products and the protection of natural resources for aquacultural farming systems. They can also support farmers with appropriate tools for good management and distinguish their products in the supply chain.
Following the FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification, a certification system for aquaculture shall cover a robust governance and the four main pillars: Food safety; Environment; Animal Health; Animal Welfare (on top of animal health); Workers Welfare (including Workers Occupational Health & Safety). Certification is currently adopted by producers intending to export their product. But considering that most of the aquaculture production worldwide is consumed locally, the majority of aquacultural production is implemented without the full consideration of such guidelines, if not required by buyers or governments. With the rapid growth of aquaculture, we need to expand uptake of safe and sustainable aquacultural practices. How can we motivate this if measures such as protecting the environment or ensuring biosecurity imply extra costs for producers that are not rewarded by their markets or required by their governments?
The presentation or panel participation intends to focus on finding a mechanism to share positive experiences from an aquaculture certification system point of view based on safe and sustainable practices. We will also explore how the cost of responsible aquacultural practices and certification is a worthy investment to avoid potential costly “worst case scenarios” like cases of recalls related to food safety.