Supply Chain Roundtable

Mexican Shrimp

Read the Large Shrimp Sector Sustainability Update 2021.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) has worked with the Mexican Pacific shrimp fishery and supply chain since SFP’s inception in 2006. This was first through individual fishery improvement projects, then the Gulf of California Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable (SR), and finally, the Mexican Seafood SR.

In early 2021, SFP learned of extensive laundering of illegal gillnet-caught shrimp from the upper Gulf of California to circumvent US embargoes and maintain access to the US market. In April 2021, SFP dissolved the Mexican Seafood SR in order to enable the formation of a new Mexican Shrimp SR, with stringent requirements for membership.

 

Poor compliance with existing regulations is the most significant sustainability issue facing the Mexican shrimp industry at this time. Thus, the primary function of the Mexican Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable is to provide a platform for US importers of Mexican Pacific wild shrimp to implement control documents, a market-based tool to improve fishery compliance with existing regulations, and allow SFP to verify the efficacy of the control documents. The SR may expand to include additional activities in the future as needed.

See a list of all SR members.

Sector Snapshot

3 Active Mexican Pacific Shrimp FIPs

9 Roundtable Participating Companies

11 % Mexican Pacific Shrimp Production Improving

Join This Roundtable

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

2022 Update

  • Del Pacifico Seafoods was removed from the Mexican Shrimp SR in June 2022, after failing to fulfill the terms of the SR membership requirements.
  • The following five members of the Mexican Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) successfully completed audits for the 2021-2022 Pacific shrimp season according to the requirements of SR membership: Amende & Schultz, Buena Vista Seafood, Deep Sea Shrimp Importing Co, Eastern Fish Co, and Ocean Garden Products. The audits required by the Mexican Shrimp SR are focused on improving compliance with existing regulation through the implementation of control documents for US importers of Mexican Pacific wild shrimp, and are one of the most stringent within the industry. The aforementioned SR participants have discussed any issues identified through the audits with their producers and processors and have requested corrective actions as part of a continuous improvement process.
  • Four new US importers joined the Mexican Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable for the 2022-2023 harvest season: Aqua Star, Cortez Seafood, Inc., Pacific Ocean Harvest, and Paragon LLC.
  • To view the full history of this SR’s activity and membership, click here.

Sector Background

Currently, about 10 percent of global large shrimp production is considered 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 Mexican Pacific shrimp fisheries (contributing only around 1 percent of global production in the sector) are an important source for the United States, one of the major markets for large shrimp.

Activity & Workplan

For 2022-2023, SFP has advised the Supply Chain Roundtable participants of the following actions that must be taken to fully implement control documents:

  1. Before the shrimp harvest season begins, US importers must ensure that every level of their supply chain has signed the relevant letter of warranty, in which the supply chain actors pledge to abide by all relevant regulations and agree to cooperate with audits. This may include exporters, brokers/traders, processors, and producer companies/organizations.
  2. Before the shrimp harvest season begins, US importers must contract with a third-party audit provider for the upcoming season and develop a plan for the audits, including the scope (i.e., producers and processors to be audited) and the timing (i.e., when the audits will occur). Audits must include the verification of regulatory compliance for 100 percent of the product lots purchased by the importer and should cover the entire supply chain, including importer, exporter, processors, and producers, as follows:
    • Audits to verify proper gear configuration will be conducted through a review of fishing gear dimensions/specifications as reported by the producer and/or copies of invoices for gear materials purchased (exact information required will be determine by the auditor). These remote audits must be conducted for 50 percent of industrial vessels and 100 percent of artisanal cooperatives. Information should be submitted to the auditor at the beginning of the harvest season.
    • Audits to verify large-scale fleet compliance with fishing ground restrictions will be conducted by reviewing the satellite tracking system (SISMEP) data for the dates coinciding with trips sold to the importer. A minimum of 50 percent of industrial vessels in each supply chain must be audited each year, and will be selected by the auditor. Vessel selection may be random or targeted (i.e., focusing on vessels with past compliance issues). The timing of these audits will depend on when CONAPESCA releases the SISMEP data.
    • All industrial vessels must submit to SFP a copy of the TED (DET) certificate issued by PROFEPA before the fishing season begins.
    • Audits to verify the chain of custody, including arrival notices, waybills, processing reports, and purchase/sale invoices, will be based on a paperwork review in which auditors will scan for inconsistencies in information. For product lots with inconsistencies, the auditor may request additional information or even an in-person visit to the plant. Audits of small-scale fleet production should be conducted around the end of the calendar year, when all small-scale shrimp harvest activity is complete for the season. Audits of the large-scale fleet should be conducted midway through the season (December/January) and at the end of the season (March/April). Final audits to reconcile all shipments may occur after the season is over, if needed.
  3. When audits are complete, the auditor provides a final report to the importer containing very specific information about: 1) when and where the audits occurred, including names of vessels, producer companies/organizations, processing plants, and the total volume of product purchased; 2) the results of the audits; and 3) recommended corrective action if any issues were identified.
  4. The importer then takes corrective actions in response to issues identified in the audit report. These corrective actions could include, but are not limited to: 1) official warning to a producer company/organization or processor that a violation or suspicious activity was documented and will not be tolerated in the future; 2) non-renewal of purchasing agreement for the next season; or 3) immediate termination of purchasing agreement.

Each Mexican Shrimp SR participant agreed to the above requirements upon joining the SR.

Join this Roundtable

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