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Point of View: Wally Stevens

Executive director, Global Aquaculture Alliance, St. Louis

Property of SeaFood Business magazine

November 01, 2008

Without question, our industry needs to take the lead in "doing the right thing" and getting out in front of the issue of sustainability. At the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), we define sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

With this definition in mind, we need to educate stakeholder groups - buyers, marketers, the media and consumers - about the strides that have been made to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the variety of seafood that we now enjoy.

At the same time, producers must embrace the tools that are available to them today to assure the marketplace that the seafood they are offering to the market indeed meets this definition of sustainability.

The most important tool available today to ensure the future of seafood is that of standards.  Let's look at how standards work in the case of farmed shrimp. Today, 30 percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States has been processed under GAA's Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP). Buyers and consumers of BAP-certified shrimp can be assured that the shrimp with the BAP seal has been produced according to certified standards that protect the environment and the people who produced the product and, most importantly, ensure that the product meets global food-safety standards. This tool also keeps products flowing from producer to consumer by providing necessary reassurances to the regulator.

The good news about these developments is that GAA's standards are being used today to the benefit of generations to come.



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