August 3, 2017
Honduran producers to pilot GAA's Biosecurity Area Management Standard
Grupo Granjas Marinas S.A. and Seajoy (Deli) Group have reached a landmark agreement in Choluteca, Honduras, to collaborate in piloting the Global Aquaculture Alliance's (GAA) draft Biosecurity Area Management Standard.
The two shrimp producers have a number of farms adjacent or in close proximity to each other in the Gulf of Fonseca and therefore face similar disease challenges.
"The draft standard is an excellent platform for us to base our collaboration and examine the mutual benefits we can achieve. Our success will attract more producers to join and we welcome that," said Brad Price, vice president of Seajoy (Deli) Group.
Shrimp production in Honduras is based in and around the Gulf of Fonseca and the majority of producers operate in a semi-extensive fashion with very large open water farms.
Victor Wilson, chief executive of Granjas Marinas, said: "The Gulf has a unique ecosystem, and we have evolved and will continue to evolve our production system to take account of the local conditions and disease threats. We can't eliminate pathogens given the large scale of our farms. We have to concentrate on shrimp adaption and breeding resistance."
"This is a real test for the GAA draft standard. This is not an environment where a biosecurity 'fence' is feasible or even desirable," Iain Shone, development director at GAA, said.
"This pilot is exactly what we need to ensure we are developing standards that are able to add value across all production systems in the world of aquaculture."
The draft BAP Biosecurity Area Management Standard focuses on reducing disease through the implementation of cohesive area-wide risk assessments and management. The standards apply to groups of cooperating farms that nurture a collective, risk-mitigating model of good governance across a defined aquaculture area. They are not species-specific and cover all production methods, including flow-through, partial exchange, and closed or recirculating water systems operated in ponds, cages, net pens, tanks, raceways or closed-containment vessels.
The standards went through a public consultation in late 2016 and early 2017, and are currently being introduced in Chile, Colombia and Honduras.
Further pilots maybe considered.