Supply Chain Roundtable

Mexican Shrimp

 

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.

Sector Snapshot

3 Mexican Pacific Shrimp FIPs

6 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.

2021 Update

  • The Mexican Shrimp SR was established by SFP in May 2021 with stringent requirements to implement control documents, including verification of regulatory compliance for 100 percent of the product lots purchased or produced by the importer, audits to verify proper gear configuration covering a minimum of 25 percent of vessels per year, and full disclosure of results to SFP.
  • In August 2021, Eastern Fish Company and Amende & Schultz became the first members of the Mexican Shrimp SR. Ocean Garden Products and Buena Vista Seafood joined the SR in September 2021, and Del Pacifico Seafoods and Deep Sea Shrimp Importing joined in October 2021.

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 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 2021-2022, SFP has advised the Supply Chain Roundtable participants of the following actions that must be taken to fully implement control documents:

  1. During the closed season each year, every level of the supply chain must require its supplier(s) and/or processor(s) to sign the applicable letter of warranty. This may include US importers, Mexican exporters, Mexican processors, and Mexican producer companies/organizations.
  2. Signed copies of all letters of warranty must be saved at each level of the supply chain as evidence of implementation (to be shared with audit provider).
  3. During the closed season each year, US importers must contract with a third-party audit provider (“auditor”) for the upcoming season and develop a plan for the upcoming season’s audits. Plans should include the verification of regulatory compliance for 100 percent of the product lots purchased or produced by the Supplier and should cover the entire supply chain, including importer, exporter, processors and producers.
    • Audits to verify proper gear configuration will require auditors to visit ports and conduct in-person inspections. These audits should be conducted randomly and should cover a minimum of 25 percent of vessels covered by the letters of warranty signed by producer companies/organizations.
    • Audits to verify regulatory compliance, including harvest season, fishing grounds, landings registry/product transportation documentation, processing reports, and purchase/sale transactions, will be based on paperwork review in which auditors will scan for inconsistencies in information. Product lots with no inconsistencies will be approved and released for shipment to the US. For product lots with inconsistencies, the auditor may request additional information or even plan an in-person visit to the plant. These paperwork-based audits should be completed before a product lot is released for shipment to the US.
  4. Once audits are complete, the auditor will provide 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, and processing plants, 2) the results of the audits, and 3) recommended corrective action if any issues were identified.
  5. The importer then takes corrective actions as needed, 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, and 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.