RAS Vanguard Standard Released for Public Comment

The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Vanguard Standard is now available for public comment, the Global Seafood Alliance announced on May 5. The 60-day public comment period ends on July 4.

This is the third set of standards released under BAP’s new Vanguard program, introduced to encourage rapid development of standards to recognize and incentivize promising advances and leading-edge innovations. The other two sets of standards are the Enhanced Social Accountability and Employee Health and Safety Audit Standard and Raised Without Antibiotics Standard. Other sets of standards in development include Climate Action, Traceability and Sustainable Feed Ingredients.

Producers must be certified to BAP Farm Standard 3.0 to apply for certification to the RAS Vanguard Standard. BAP Farm Standard Issue 3.0 — and, to a lesser extent, its predecessor, the Finfish and Crustacean Farm Standard 2.4 — incorporates fundamental requirements that RAS facilities are required to meet as a condition of certification. The RAS Vanguard Standard encompasses all species of finfish but does not encompass shellfish, seaweeds and aquatic plants.

The RAS Vanguard Standard addresses multiple categories of resource use and impacts, including water use efficiency, waste management and circular economies, energy use efficiency and use of renewable energy, and animal welfare.

The RAS Vanguard Standard is also intended to guide sustainability and green financing expectations by setting aspirational milestones which are aligned, to the extent possible, with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Life Below Water (SDG 14), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) and Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12).

Producers certified to a Vanguard standard are listed on the BAP Vanguard webpage and authorized to publicize their special status to stakeholders. Widespread adoption of the practices included in Vanguard standards are designed to help drive industry-wide improvements in performance and associated environmental and social gains. Over time, elements of Vanguard standard will be incorporated into the mainstream BAP standards.

To comment on the RAS Vanguard Standard, visit the BAP standards webpage, review the standard and fill out and submit the public comment form to dan.lee@globalseafood.org or david.yunker@globalseafood.org. All interested stakeholders are encouraged to comment, and all properly submitted comments will be acknowledged.

About Best Aquaculture Practices
Best Aquaculture Practices is a third-party certification program developed by the Global Seafood Alliance, an international, nonprofit trade association headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA, dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification standards, GSA has become the leading standards-setting organization for seafood.