End to U.S. Embargo on Mexican Shrimp

An embargo on Mexican shrimp, decreed by the United States last April, came to an end on October 19, 2021. The end to the embargo came following official notice to the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (CONAPESCA) by the U.S. Government.

Restoring of certification, which will allow Mexican shrimp to be exported to the U.S., comes after it was shown that Mexico has a program in place to reduce incidental capture of sea turtles through use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). These are comparable to the U.S. program, under Section 609 of U.S. law.

This is a result of coordinated work involving the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (via CONAPESCA), the Mexican Navy (SEMAR), Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Economy, Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA), as well as representatives from the shrimping industry, and the Mexican Embassy in the U.S.

As soon as the U.S. embargo on shrimp from Mexico went into effect on April 30, 2021, the Mexican administration made a firm commitment to restore certification as soon as possible.  Mexico welcomed a U.S. delegation led by Jared Milton from the Department of State, and Aaron Black from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Over a two-week period, from September 16th-30th, the delegation undertook visits to verify appropriate function of the Turtle Exclusion Devices. These visits took place along the coastlines of Tampico, Tamaulipas; Campeche, Campeche; Puerto Peñasco and Guaymas, Sonora, as well as Topolobampo, Mazatlán and the fishing community of La Reforma, Sinaloa. These steps led to restoring certification for shrimp export from Mexico to the U.S.

The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Manuel Villalobos Arámbula, endorsed the commitment of the Mexican Government to the sustainable production of shrimp through effective and comparable measures to ensure the conservation and protection of sea turtles.

It is important to note, however, the lifting of this embargo does not impact additional restrictions in place on shrimping practices in the Upper Gulf of California, meant to help protect and conserve the endangered vaquita marina.



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