Supply Chain Roundtable

US Gulf of Mexico Shrimp

Read the Large Shrimp Sector Sustainability Update 2021.

The US Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) focuses on monitoring sustainability status and issues in US shrimp fisheries and drives further improvements. The SR is composed of the leading US shrimp processors and distributors.

 

The SR undertakes improvement actions at a Gulf-wide scale (e.g., improving information on bycatch), while individual FIPs undertake improvement actions at the state or local level (e.g., boat-level gear inspections to ensure that turtle excluder devices are installed properly). 

The  SR focuses on shrimp fisheries in the US Gulf of Mexico, primarily those targeting white, brown, and pink shrimp. The US shrimp harvest is a relatively small portion of the worldwide production of large shrimp. However, this fishery is a leader in sustainability improvements and demonstrates best practices for wild shrimp fisheries around the world. 

The US Gulf of Mexico shrimp industry has made vast improvements over the last 15 years, including stock monitoring, bycatch reduction, area closures, and sea turtle nesting enhancement projects. 

See a list of all SR members.

Sector Snapshot

5 Active US Gulf of Mexico Shrimp FIPs

10 Roundtable Participating Companies

96 % US Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Production Improving

Join This Roundtable

To join the Supply Chain Roundtable or for more information, please contact Megan Westmeyer or call SFP at 1-808-726-2582. 

Q3 2022 Update:

  • In July, the SR received two reports with information addressing critical bycatch information needs. The first contains the preliminary results of the full bycatch identification study being carried out by LGL Ecological Research Associates, with funding from the Saltonstall-Kennedy grant program. This report contains information on the portion of the shrimp bycatch catch that is not identified by the observer, and lists the top 25 species by area. These data will be combined with the data from the observer program for these same trips to get complete information on bycatch by species and volume. The second report, the Observer Data Verification Project report, was completed in August 2020, but never made public. The report verifies the accuracy of the observer program data (2-percent coverage rate) through comparison with the electronic logbook program (20-percent coverage). These two reports contain information needed for both MSC and RFM assessments, and the publication of these reports removes the final barrier to certification. 
  • In September, the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) agreed to serve as the client group for MSC and RFM certification (on behalf of the entire Gulf of Mexico shrimp industry) and established a sustainability committee that includes four Gulf of Mexico Shrimp SR participants (Big Easy Foods, Paul Piazza & Son, Wood’s Fisheries, and Cox's Wholesale Seafood). The sustainability committee will spearhead the certification work, select a conformity assessment body, and negotiate a contract. Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, the Audubon Nature Institute, and Texas Sea Grant have agreed to support ASPA in their pursuit of certification. ASPA expects to sign a contract in early October.
  • To view the full history of this SR’s activities click here

Sector Background

Currently, about 7 percent of global large shrimp production is considered sustainable or improving. The large shrimp sector includes farmed shrimp, wild warmwater shrimp, and larger coldwater shrimp such as Argentine red shrimp and spot prawns. Species are typically larger than 100 shrimp per pound in body size. About two-thirds of global large shrimp production is farmed. 

Although wild-caught shrimp are not the main source of global supply in the large-shrimp sector, the US Gulf of Mexico shrimp fisheries (contributing only around 1 percent of global production in the sector) are an important source near the United States, one of the major markets for large shrimp. 

Activity & Workplan

For 2022, SFP has advised the Supply Chain Roundtable participants that it is time to consider completing the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp FIPs and possibly entering MSC or RFM certification, if required by the market. There is substantial interest from SR participants to pursue one or both certifications, thus entrance to a certification program will be the focus for 2022.

Join This Roundtable

To join the Supply Chain Roundtable or for more information, please contact Megan Westmeyer or call SFP at 1-808-726-2582.