Aquaculture Improvement Partnership
Last Update: November 2013
SFP conducted AIP scoping in three targeted tilapia-producing regions, starting with the AIP located on Hainan Island. See below for map of production regions.
Contact: If you would like more information about the AIP or wish to support the AIP, please contact SFP.
SFP involvement in China began at the end of 2007, when SFP advised key corporate partners on their tilapia procurement policy and sourcing, evaluating sources in Hainan (seven farms) and Beihai (two farms). SFP’s corporate partner engagement includes both major tilapia suppliers and key retail and foodservice buyers.
From 2008 to 2010, SFP conducted audits on 10 tilapia farms in six countries, comparing the three main international standards: GLOBALG.A.P, Global Agriculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (GAA/BAP), and the International Standard for Responsible Tilapia Aquaculture developed by the World Wildlife Fund (ASC/ISRTA). The objective of these audits was to identify similarities in criteria and areas where the standards differed. The benchmarking project included four tilapia farms in China. These farms represented both small- and commercial-scale production facilities utilizing two different production systems (pond and cages). Aside from identifying similarities and differences among criteria and requirements used by the three standards, this project also identified outstanding issues in the farms, which most producers were able to address as a result of the trial audit. To date, all four farms are now certified under one or more of the commercial aquaculture standards.
Since early 2011, SFP has initiated a Chinese Tilapia AIP by conducting a series of scoping studies to have an in-depth understanding of the Chinese tilapia supply chain and its challenges as it moves toward sustainable development. The studies, along with multi-stakeholder engagement through the Aquaculture Policy Roundtable (APR), have enabled SFP outstanding capacity to motivate the supply chain to adopt zonal management approaches to achieve regional improvement, hence reducing environmental and social risks along the supply chain.
Field research projects to assess the impact of tilapia farming on the external environment and its associated risks on disease outbreaks. Along with Hainan Institute of Aquaculture and Hainan University, SFP investigated environmental impacts of tilapia farming through measuring water quality within and outside farming systems (pond and reservoir). The first phase of the study monitored five representative commercial-scale farms in Hainan over two production cycles in 2011 (2nd phase commenced March 2013)
SFP is also working with producer groups (local tilapia associations) and key feed distributers along with Chinese feed companies (e.g., Haid and Tongwei) to enhance tilapia farmers’ both technical and institutional capacity to further adopt collaborative measures with zonal management approaches. Such initiatives include an orientation workshop in 2011 for selected producers in Hainan on the three major tilapia standards, mentioned above, used in the comparison audits. The workshop introduced the different standards available to tilapia producers in China, particularly raising the farmer’s awareness on environmental issues. More workshops to strengthen information accessibility and to disseminate Best Practices are under preparation with potential support from feed companies and processors.
On September 4, 2012, SFP successfully organized its first Aquaculture Policy Roundtable (APR) in Hainan to engage key tilapia processors, farmers, and feed and seed producers in Hainan Province, the largest tilapia production region in China, into an AIP. This roundtable provided face-to-face communication between tilapia producers in China and buyers from North America, and established a roadmap for SFP’s Chinese Tilapia AIP to pilot its zonal management approach in Hainan.
The roundtable achieved agreement among participants to establish a Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance, at which zonal management on disease control, water resource allocation and pollution elimination, biodiversity impacts, and food safety regulation will be introduced to the supply chain. A regional profile of tilapia will be established and updated in FishSource and Metrics systems to guide buyers and retailers for sustainable sourcing of tilapia.
Field research projects to assess the impact of tilapia farming on the external environment and its associated risks on disease outbreaks. The second phase started March 2013 with identifying three farming zones within Hainan Island and assessing the impacts of existing farming practices and management on aquatic environment around nine typical farms including both small-to-medium and commercial scale farms. The study aims to evaluate cumulative environmental impacts and disease risks at the zonal level.
SFP assisted CAPPMA in organizing the 10th Chinese Tilapia Industry Forum, which was held in Dalian on November 6, 2013. At the forum, the zonal management approach and the multi-stakeholder dialogue under the Alliance was presented to a wider audience of domestic and international stakeholders.