Are these the leaders or the laggers? GOAL Aquaculture Industry Confronts Global Health Crises, Slavery, and Feeding the World

Global Outlook on Aquaculture Laggers. Too little too late. Outcomes are short on original aspirations as I remember them 35, 30, 20, 10 and last year.

Talking about antibiotics in aquaculture is nothing new. It has been raised consistently at various levels in shrimp industry. Question is more like what has been done about this by so called self professed leaders? Still antibiotics are rife in aquaculture via feed mills or lack of regulatory enforcement.

Claims made by GAA about AMR (Anti-microbial resistance) creating a public health issue in consumer markets for shrimp are not correct as noted previously on this blog.

GAA’s BAP also covers food safety and while antibiotics in Indian shrimp farming is seemingly still common, leading producers are just not in the cowboy game anymore.

Anyway any microbes in shrimp that could be harmful for humans are effectively removed by cooking. Correct labeling can support and, simple hygiene practices, like washing hands and are standard public health food handling safety issue alerts – so takes care of that!

Also incidence of food safety and recalls on shrimp are extremely low, compared to other foods in US and since USFDA implemented HACCP practices on imported shrimp. If it was a big issue one would have thought that there would be something done but AMR is not a big issue in shrimp. Use of antibiotics is a big issue though.

Human rights issue was raised first at GOAL 2010 with the discovery of cheap fishmeal being used by the leaders in the Thai shrimp industry resulting in competitive advantages for them entering into UK shrimp markets and retailers like Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s.

Marks & Spencers sourced from Central America, where, once upon a time child labour was an issue in shrimp wild seed collection and offsite de-heading facilities – however this was all addressed in the early years of shrimp farming by a move to hatchery seed and an implementation of upstream processing standard operating procedures – now called HACCP globally.

Thailand (or those GOAL attendees and leaders) keeps banging on about addressing slavery year in year out – seems like a sop or just a marketing PR ploy as issue is still there. Money gained (ill gotten) has been used to grow businesses in other sectors globally. Hmm – how about putting a stop to it now. Business practices need to be review. A lot of price fixing and consortium cartel building around tuna and salmon as fish grown for seafood for human consumption.

But hey guys, shrimp industry is NOT the fish industry. It is bigger, better, bolder.

While GOAL was on in India – other leaders in global shrimp aquaculture where at a different conference half way around the world and much more relevant to shrimp.

The feeling is that while GAA started out with shrimp it has strayed from its original purpose – look Global Seafood Assurances cover fished seafood – a non aquaculture resource. So now Global Aquaculture Advocacy has included fish hunted for human seafood consumption. Shock horror

GOAL has come to encompass many things seafood – including fish. GAA/BAP certify about 15% of the trade. One wonders if these so called leaders meeting are not a bit of a stretch. The net has been flung too far and the issues are being addressed elsewhere (at least for shrimp) where we can see tangible results.

Still we see the same old problems with little action being raised at GOAL. Feels like lip service but actually is the correct strategy for these leaders to address and/or develop the market for their product technology specific to where the meetings were held – India .

Lastly – a discussion held there about humane treatment of fish (a requirement in light of recent events at GAA/BAP approved salmon sites) should not be transferred onto shrimp – shrimp are totally different from fish and are treated with due respect in culture.

Here is the article