Guiding Principles

GAA Global Leadership

In 1997 the GAA and its founding stakeholder members identified the very important role seafood has in feeding the growing world population and united to lead the international aquaculture industry with sustainable practices. Today, these visionary guiding principles that respect environmental and social responsibility remain relevant and have improved aquaculture practices throughout the farming, processing and distribution of aquaculture products.

Through advocacy, educational outreach, scientific research and global leadership, the GAA continues to champion best aquaculture practices and expand the available supply of seafood from Best Aquaculture Practices-certified facilities.

Guiding Principles for Responsible Aquaculture

Companies and Individuals Engaged in Aquaculture, Singularly and Collectively:

  1. Shall coordinate and collaborate with national, regional and local governments in the development and implementation of policies, regulations and procedures necessary and practicable to achieve environmental, economic and social sustainability of aquaculture operations.
  2. Shall utilize only those sites for aquaculture facilities whose characteristics are compatible with long-term sustainable operation with acceptable ecological effects, particularly avoiding unnecessary destruction of mangroves and other environmentally significant flora and fauna.
  3. Shall design and operate aquaculture facilities in a manner that conserves water resources, including underground sources of fresh water.
  4. Shall design and operate aquaculture facilities in a manner that minimizes the effects of effluents on surface and ground water quality and sustains ecological diversity.
  5. Shall strive for continuing improvements in feed use and shall use therapeutic agents judiciously in accordance with appropriate regulations and only when needed based on common sense and best scientific judgment.
  6. Shall take all reasonable measures necessary to avoid disease outbreaks among culture species, between local farm sites and across geographic areas.
  7. Shall take all reasonable steps to ascertain that permissible introductions of exotic species are done in a responsible and acceptable manner and in accordance with appropriate regulations.
  8. Shall cooperate with others in the industry in research and technological and educational activities intended to improve the environmental compatibility of aquaculture.
  9. Shall strive to benefit local economies and community life through diversification of the local economy, promotion of employment, contributions to the tax base and infrastructure, and respect for artisanal fisheries, forestry and agriculture.