XpertSea teams with Conservation International to launch “climate-smart” shrimp pilot in Ecuador

An XpertSea demonstration.

A partnership between shrimp aquatech firm Quebec, Canada-based XpertSea, and U.S.-headquartered nonprofit Conservation International is launching a “climate-smart” shrimp pilot in Ecuador.

Using XpertSea’s Responsible Shrimp solution, which combines the company’s pre-existing network of farmer relationships and its XpertSea MAX technology to aid sustainable sourcing decisions, the turnkey program “is a streamlined way for seafood buyers to support farmers, reduce carbon, and restore mangroves, driving the industry towards a sustainable and resilient future,” according to the two organizations.

"Climate Smart Shrimp is an innovative approach that will catalyze measurable, sustainable change," Conservation International Aquaculture Director Dane Klinger said. "Our partnership with XpertSea enables seafood buyers to play an active role in mangrove restoration, carbon emission reduction and the promotion of responsible farming practices. This collaborative effort presents an exciting way to support both the environment and farmers."

Around 45 percent of the 50,000 hectares of mangroves lost in Ecuador since 1969 can be attributed to the expansion of aquaculture, according to Conservation International.

“Despite new laws protecting mangroves, progress toward reforestation has been slow and farmers face limited access to capital for improvements, which makes it challenging to invest in regenerative systems,” it said.

The new program is “an innovative solution to champion regenerative farming practices."

“The program facilitates lower- carbon farming practices while directly addressing the issue of mangrove deforestation,” it said.

The partnership will see XpertSea use its technological tools to deliver production data to align with Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability standards and tracking of scope-3 carbon emissions, while Conservation International will oversee mangrove restoration, “ensuring the program fosters climate resilience and ecosystem benefits.”

The project is intended to support Ecuadorian shrimp farmers by giving them greater access to financing to allow them to transition to more climate-friendly production methods, which will in turn result in the implementation of carbon improvements on shrimp farms, support mangrove restoration with the goal of enhancing biodiversity, building climate resilience, and protecting critical habitats, XpertSea CEO Katie Sokalsky said

“This is an exciting moment for sustainable seafood,” Sokalsky said. “Now buyers can easily take action to create a more sustainable and resilient industry, and get verified data on their improvements to feel confident about making consumer-facing commitments."

In August 2021, XpertSea announced it had raised USD 20 million (EUR 17 million) in a series B funding round, and counts Aqua-Spark as a lead investor.

Photo courtesy of XpertSea


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