A Brief History of
The Global Seafood Alliance


Humble beginnings

The Global Aquaculture Alliance was founded by shrimp farmers and aquafeed and seafood companies responding to criticism about mangrove deforestation (Pictured: Susan and George Chamberlain outside the first professional GAA office in St. Louis, Mo., USA. The original office was the Chamberlains' home.)


Fundamental principles

Published “Guiding Principles for Responsible Aquaculture” and “Mangrove Code of Practice”

Also: Published the first issue of Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine as an eight-page black-and-white newsletter; a full-color magazine would follow in 1999 and continue bimonthly until 2015 when it would shift online


Codes of practice

The qualitative predecessor to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards, “Codes of Practice for Responsible Shrimp Farming,” is published


Convening commences

The first GSOL (Global Shrimp Outlook for Leadership) conference – which would be rebranded as GOAL (Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership) in 2008 – is held in Singapore


BAP milestones reached

BAP certification standards for shrimp farms are finalized; auditors were trained in 2003 and the first-ever shrimp farm earns BAP certification (Belize) in 2004


Major endorsers sign on

BAP is endorsed by retail leader Walmart and Darden Restaurants, operator of the Red Lobster seafood restaurant chain


Expansion begins

GAA offices are opened in Florida, Washington and New Hampshire, but ultimately consolidated in Portsmouth, N.H., USA (Pictured: The current GSA office, which opened in 2018)


SOC formed

The Standards Oversight Committee is established (Pictured: The SOC at the 2015 SOC meeting in Vancouver)


Foundation formed

GAA funds the formation of the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation (now The Center for Responsible Seafood, or TCRS), a charitable organization dedicated to research, education and collaboration


First benchmark attained

BAP is benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)


BAP Certification Standards Finalized

BAP certification standards for salmon, finfish, crustacean and mussel farms are finalized


Improver program launched

iBAP, a precursor to full BAP certification, is launched

Also: BAP-certified processing plants are officially prohibited from outsourcing shrimp processing work to third-party entities to combat labor abuse


The Three Gs

BAP became the first third-party aquaculture certification program to be benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)

Also: BAP became the first program to achieve 3Gs status (GFSI, the Global Food Safety Initiative, GSSI and GSCP, the Global Social Compliance Program)


Podcast launched

Launched the Aquademia podcast, the No. 1 seafood podcast, which now has more than 200 episodes to download


Rebranded as GSA

GAA rebranded as the Global Seafood Alliance and launched the Best Seafood Practices certification program for fishing vessels and seafood processing facilities


Silver Anniversary

GSA celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022!

Founding Members