A Certification System for Seafood
by Andrew Chalk
There is a new certification process that ensures consumers are buying not only the best-tasting seafood but also the most socially responsible.
According to a recent study, consumers are becoming more health-conscious and focused on purchasing products that are better for themselves and the environment. Since meat and dairy products account for about 14.5% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions yearly, one healthier alternative protein is seafood (not to mention that it’s delicious, nutrient-dense, rich in Omega-3s, and there are just so many options). Seafood tends to have less of a negative impact on the environment than other proteins, including greenhouse gas emission, most of which comes from the fuel burned by fishing boats. Aquaculture or fish farming further helps to alleviate this issue by eliminating the need for boats. But how does one know the farmed seafood (including shrimp, oysters, clams, tilapia, salmon, and more) at their local store was harvested in a socially responsible way? By looking for the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) label. BAP is a part of the Global Seafood Alliance and is one of the most comprehensive certification systems for aquaculture. This voluntary certification program assesses aquaculture facilities by addressing environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety, and traceability. By purchasing BAP-certified seafood, customers can be sure that they are getting a healthy and responsibly caught source of protein, helping to lessen the carbon footprint of the food industry.