Title: Towards certification and ecolabelling: a compliance study of Bangladesh shrimp aquaculture

Author(s): Serajul Islam
Final project
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Shrimp; aquaculture; certification; ecolabelling; animal welfare; food safety; environmental integrity; social responsibility.


Responding to increasing market demand for ecolabelled aquaculture product, many shrimp exporting countries have adopted certification for their shrimp aquaculture. Bangladesh is an important supplier of shrimp in the world market. The current situation of Bangladesh shrimp aquaculture was studied in comparison to market requirements and the minimum substantive criteria outlined in the FAO technical guidelines on the way forward to certification. The main issues were animal health and welfare, food safety and security, and environmental integrity and social responsibility. Being produced under extensive or improved extensive culture system, Bangladesh shrimp was found have potential to be ecolabelled though several shortcomings were found that should be addressed prior to certification drive. The most important development needed is the integration among different stakeholders of the coordinated planning and management of efforts. Land zoning to resolve conflict among land users and lessen impact on the environment, use of SPF shrimp in aquaculture, formation of groups or clusters of farms, hatchery and farms registration, responsible use of chemicals in hatcheries and farms, healthy and efficient post harvest handling of shrimp, enforcement of labour laws for welfare of the workers, gender equity among workers and strong and coordinated monitoring of implementation of all the relevant issues should be ensured. Considering the characteristics of an industry where most of the farms are small scale, it was suggested that government of Bangladesh could initiate the certification system and after a reasonable period of time an independent body could carry on the scheme.

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