The GLOBALG.A.P. Standard for aquaculture << back

The GLOBALG.A.P. Standard for Aquaculture

The GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard developed since 2004 includes a wide variety of species of fish, crustaceans and molluscs. The standard covers the entire production chain from the spawning fish stocks to fattening and slaughter. The scope of the standard includes animal welfare, environmental protection, safety at work (including a risk assessment for the social concerns of workers) and food safety. The standard is developed further and refined by aquaculture producers, environmentalists and other stakeholders.

Among other things, the GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard includes the following features:

  • Independent and accredited certification organizations ensure compliance with the requirements of the standard. Additional regular site audits on the aquaculture farms and at the certification bodies by GLOBALG.A.P. assessors ensure that the specifications are adhered to around the world.
  • Certification is carried out annually: The aquaculture farms are subject to an annual audit and must also demonstrate self-monitoring for compliance with the standard. This is verified by unannounced inspections by external experts.
  • Structure and content of the standard: The standard is designed in such a way as to also enable small aquaculture farms in developing and emerging countries in Africa, Asia or South America to be certified. This is to ensure that sustainable aquaculture is also developed in these producing countries.
  • Traceability: Every production step in breeding must be documented: from the origin of the larva, the use of fodder, the diagnosis of veterinarians and the medically prescribed and administered medication.
  • Animal welfare:  The requirements for the breeding system and the management are designed in such a way as to enable species-appropriate fishkeeping. The stocking density may not compromise the well-being and health of the fish. The prescribed daily visual observation of fish behaviour [stress, illness, unnatural swarming, food intake, etc.] serves as verification of compliance with the appropriate fish husbandry.
  • Social concerns of workers: Compliance with the minimum social standards, ILO-Code, is an essential component of the standard. Employees on aquaculture farms are to be treated fairly. School-age children, who live on the farm, have to go to school.
  • Observance of environmental protection: Every aquaculture farm provides a compatibility and risk assessment for the environment, which is provided with necessary measures. Among other things, the requirements in the event of fish escaping from the aquaculture breeding facility are particularly strict. Every effort must be made to protect the natural fish stock in the local rivers and lakes, for example the escapes of fish and diseases.
  • Respect of protected habitats: New ponds, fish farms or associated facilities are to be built in ecologically suitable environments. The biodiversity and the ecological balance of sensitive habitats (areas of high conservation value, such as mangroves) must not be jeopardized.
  • Genetic engineering and breeding of wild species: The use of wild-caught or genetically modified animals in aquaculture is not permitted.
  • The use of growth promoters or hormones is prohibited.

As of July 2016, 30 different types of fish, crustaceans and molluscs were GLOBALG.A.P. certified in 36 countries; the production capacity of certified farms was almost 2.2 million tons of fish and seafood.