World Aquaculture Society Meetings


David D. Kuhn*, David Crosby, Chris Mullins, Brian Nerrie, Michael Schwarz
 *Department of Food Science and Technology
 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
 Blacksburg, VA 24061

Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqPs) are activities, procedures, or considerations optimizing production systems and management protocols to maximize environmental and economic sustainability, final product quality and safety, animal health and worker safety, while concurrently minimizing the likelihood of a disease outbreak. GAqP considerations generic to all aquaculture production systems include considerations for:  Regulatory and non-regulatory compliance, facility siting and design, source water, facility security, animal health, feed management, record keeping and employee training. The key to providing your market with safe and high quality product is to understand and follow GAqP recommendations for proper pre-harvest and post-harvest guidelines.  GAqPs for pre-harvesting and harvesting actvities focus upon maximizing the quality of the product, as well as minimizing stress on the animal. Product that is consistently safe and of the highest quality is paramount for maintaining sales and maximum value for your product in the market place. Food safety is the most important aspect of your product.  Pathogenic bacteria, chemicals, and mechanical items are all food hazards that compromise a safe product from entering the market place. Pathogenic bacteria presence can be minimized by ensuring all that you use clean and sanitized surfaces, equipment, personnel and any other item that comes into contact with your product.  Any pathogenic bacteria that ends up on your product will multiply rapidly if your product especially of it undergoes temperature abuse. You must, according to federal regulation, develop a hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) plan for all of your processing efforts.  HACCP is a systematic preventative approach for ensuring that each of you processing, packaging, and storage steps do not compromise your product in regards food hazards.

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