By Mike Berthet, Marketing Development Manager at Best Aquaculture Practice
Up until April this year I had spent 32 years with M&J Seafood. I worked for them in various capacities after leaving my original profession as a Chef at the Catering College in Bournemouth. My experience and passion throughout my career has taught me that responsible raising of ‘aquaculture protein’ around the world is paramount. No discussion needed.
At M&J Seafood our supply developed considerably over time, with many species present that simply would not feature on menus without Aquaculture. Wild North Atlantic Halibut for example has undergone population declines of approximately 45% over three generation lengths and is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (the same list which includes Polar Bears and Cheetah!).
With a rapidly growing population, dwindling fisheries around the globe and the ever accelerating effects of climate change altering ecosystems, we need to carefully grow, farm and harvest as much seafood as is environmentally and ethically sustainable if we are to avert severe global famine for future generations.
We have 2.5 billion more people destined to be on the planet by 2050 and we cannot feed this explosion without careful farming of our seas, lakes and rivers as well as land based recirculating systems. And it’s a simple face that we cannot cut down many more forested areas without compromising our ability to reduce green house gas emissions and combat climate change.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) set up Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification to ensure that this happens in a sustainable and fair way at every link in the supply chain and promote responsible practices across the aquaculture industry. Coordinating the development of BAP standards for farms, feed mills, hatcheries and processing facilities drives continued improvements to high standards that deliver significant benefits industry-wide. Explaining the complexities of the global system to our many thousands of chefs and colleagues in the foodservice industry is how I fit into the system.
We look forward to the challenge and I hope that like-minded chefs and caterers will join with me in putting BAP aquacultured seafood on menus. Helping to ease the pressure on wild stocks and also to enable beautiful endangered species such as Wild Halibut to be enjoyed by current and future diners.
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