July 5, 2021


GAA welcomes two new members to oversight committee



The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) had appointed two new members to its 12-member Standards Oversight Committee (SOC), it announced last month.


Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, global lead for nutrition and public health at WorldFish and this year's World Food Prize Laureate, and Jenna Stoner, aquaculture programme director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), joined the SOC on May 24, 2021.


Both Thilsted and Stoner are highly regarded in their respective disciplines, and their addition will benefit the SOC's work, said Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards coordinator Dan Lee.


"Our oversight committee will gain a lot from their expertise as our programme progressively targets sustainable development goals," said Lee.


In May, Dr. Thilsted was awarded the prestigious 2021 World Food Prize for her groundbreaking research in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquatic food systems. She played a key role in the development of the WorldFish 2030 research and innovation strategy, "Aquatic Foods for Healthy People and Planet." She is a member of the steering committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security and vice chair of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Action Track 4 – Advance Equitable Livelihoods.


Dr. Thilsted holds a PhD from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark and an honorary doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.and


As SFP's aquaculture programme director, Stoner provides leadership, management and strategic insight into SFP's aquaculture strategy. She has more than 10 years of experience on market-based conservation programmes with a predominant focus on sustainable aquaculture production and consumption. Stoner holds a master's of marine management from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria.


"It's a real pleasure to be joining the Standards Oversight Committee at this time. The BAP standards have been a cornerstone to improving farm-level management practices in aquaculture for nearly 20 years, and yet we recognise there is still a ways to go to addressing cumulative impacts of the rapidly growing aquaculture industries around the globe," said Stoner. "The BAP standard review process and the SOC are robust mechanisms that ensure the standards are evolving to address emerging issues, lead in best practices and continue to deliver a credible way for the market to support better management practices."


The SOC comprises members with broad stakeholder representation — one-third conservation, one-third academia and one-third industry. The SOC directs the drafting of the BAP standards by technical committees and reports its recommendations to the GAA board of directors for final approval.


With assistance from the BAP standards coordinator, the SOC also coordinates revisions and other aspects of standards development and improvement.


SOC members serve three-year terms, with a maximum of four terms. In July 2020, four new members joined the SOC, including Patrick Blow, aquaculture manager for Marks & Spencer; Simon Bush, professor and chair of the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University; and Lukas Manomaitis, US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) aquaculture programme lead technical consultant (Southeast Asia).