Blue Waters LLC Oman, which produces sea bream (Sparus aurata) in the Gulf of Oman, achieved Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the Global Seafood Alliance announced some days ago. The farm, which consists of circular cages off the coast of Qurayyat about 100 kilometers south of Muscat, is Oman’s first facility to attain BAP certification, and the fourth in Middle East.
“Achieving the BAP certification is a major achievement, which documents that Blue Waters is an internationally recognized producer of high quality sustainable farmed fish,” said Nabeel AlRuwaidhi, CEO of Blue Waters.
The farm has been in operation since 2016 and is expected to produce 2,350 metric tons of sea bream this year. The fingerlings are imported live from hatcheries in Europe. Blue Waters is in the process of building its own hatchery in Oman, which is scheduled to open in late 2022. The sea bream is currently sold as chilled whole fish to retail customers in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.
Blue Waters was audited against the BAP Farm Standard Issue 3.0 and recently received its BAP certificate. Established in 2016, Blue Water LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fisheries Development Oman (FDO). FDO was formed by Oman Investment Authority (OIA), Oman’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries Wealth (MAFW).
The importance of understanding the demands of an evolving market
Waleed Al Farsi, sales manager for Blue Waters, explained that “achieving BAP certification has been a goal of Blue Waters and also our valuable customers. We make every effort to go the extra mile for them. When something is important to them, we listen and act. It is important for us as a company to understand the demands of an evolving market and stay on top of innovative developments in our industry.”
“It is our mission to support a profitable, sustainable and socially responsible seafood industry, and this is a shining example of how industry and science can work together for a profoundly positive outcome,” added on the other hand Lars Bo Windmar, quality and safety manager of the company.
Four facilities BAP-certified in the Middle East
This brings the total number of BAP-certified facilities in the Middle East to four currently. The three other facilities are in Saudi Arabia and include a tilapia farm and hatchery operated by Rasheed Al Ballaa and a feed mill operated by Maram Feed Mill Co.
Blue Waters drives food safety and sustainability in Oman forward with the achievement of the BAP certificate and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point ) certification, which was achieved in October 2021. In order to achieve food safety, environmental and sustainable excellence, Blue Waters has developed and implemented a comprehensive quality management system, said the company.
The quality management system supports Blue Waters; policy, which includes the vision to lead the development of a sustainable and competitive aquaculture sector in Oman; and a detailed food-safety policy that facilitates production of a world-class quality product that meets recognized safety standards to the satisfaction of our customers.
Blue Waters operates in full compliance with national and international environmental and food safety standards, and from the company was said that is constantly working toward continuous improvement.
Best Aquaculture Practices is a third-party certification program developed by the Global Seafood Alliance, an international, nonprofit trade association headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA, dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances.
Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification standards, GSA has become the leading standards-setting organization for seafood.