First Middle East Aquaculture Operation Earns BAP Certification
National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA) is the Middle East’s first company to earn Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced in mid-January. It’s also one of only 15 companies worldwide to attain four-star BAP status, denoting that its processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills are all BAP certified.
NAQUA is based in Al Laith, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company’s processing plant, shrimp farm, barramundi farm, shrimp hatchery and shrimp and barramundi feed mill all earned BAP certification.
NAQUA is now qualified to offer four-star BAP shrimp and three-star BAP barramundi. It’s the world’s first company eligible to offer three-star BAP barramundi.
“Today we stand on a new horizon after receiving this global recognition with the BAP certification,” said engineer Ahmed R. AlBallaa, managing director of NAQUA. “This assures us that our steady efforts were correct and still moving forward in the right path. We are proud to contribute to the food security for our citizens by distributing our products in broader bands in the local market, and by exploring new international markets. We are serving our customers with guaranteed quality seafood products that have become internationally recognized.”
Added Nasir Hameed, director of corporate quality and sustainability, “At National Aquaculture Group, we pursue a strong approach on high quality and food safety, environment and organization sustainability. NAQUA’s BAP certification is a proof of company’s compliance toward all global regulatory and industrial norms for a sustainable aquaculture system. NAQUA is committed to produce the best possible quality of aquaculture products for our customers and consumers, and BAP certification is a big step to fulfill our promise.”
NAQUA is one of the world’s largest fully integrated marine aquaculture operations of its kind, with more than 2,500 employees and an approximate annual production capacity of 35,000 metric tons of shrimp and 100,000 metric tons of fish. The privately owned company produces vannamei shrimp and barramundi, in addition to sea cucumber, algae and artemia products. Its farms are located in the Red Sea of Saudi Arabia, 180 kilometers south of Jeddah, near Al Leith. The 16 farms for shrimp and three circular cage farms for fish consisting of 14 to 24 cages per site. NAQUA’s seafood products are exported to markets worldwide.
Additionally, NAQUA is a founder member of GAA and fully committed to the highest standards for best aquaculture practices. In addition to BAP certification, NAQUA’s international certification and recognitions include BRC, 22000:2005 ISO 9001: 2008, ISO 14001 and HACCP certification.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain — farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills — that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means. BAP certification is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.