US embargo on Mexican shrimp impacts large and small boats

Despite recent statements made by Mexico’s National Fishing and Aquaculture Commission (CONAPESCA), and the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA), the current U.S. embargo on shrimp from Mexico includes the export of all shrimp, regardless of capture method.  The only allowance currently for commercial export of shrimp from Mexico to the U.S. is only for shrimp harvested from aquaculture.

The removal of U.S. certification for the export of shrimp from Mexico, announced by the U.S. Department of State and that went into effect on April 30th, includes all wild shrimp – both for that caught in trawling nets by the deep sea fleet, as well as that from artisanal and coastal fishermen through the use of gillnets and dinghy trawl nets (chinchorros).

Erroneously, CONAPESCA had announced last week the embargo did not apply to shrimp not caught by deep-sea trawling.  However, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) clarified the embargo applies to both.

The NOAA specified the sale of wild shrimp from Mexico within the U.S. is not allowed until Mexico is able to once again obtain certification, which was withdrawn due to the country’s inadequate use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs).

In addition, the shrimp industry of the Upper Gulf of California is subject to a different type of embargo, and therefore a separate solution must be sought. This region is further impacted by measures to protect the endangered vaquita marina, while also combating illegal trafficking of totoaba.



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