Mexican blue shrimp caught by suripera fishermen rated "Good Alternative"

Published on
November 7, 2017

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has rated as a “Good Alternative” the blue shrimp captured with suripera nets in the coastal lagoons of north-central Sinaloa, Mexico, according to a press release provided to SeafoodSource by Fair Trade USA.

Seafood Watch, which evaluates the ecological sustainability of seafood in the United States marketplace, published its assessment in a report on 2 October.

In that report it color-coded the artisanal suripera shrimp fisheries as yellow, meaning “buy but be aware there are concerns,” and rated the suripera fisheries as being of only moderate concern with regard to the sustainability of its methods.

The Seafood Watch recommendation means the shrimp produced by these small-scale fishermen will be able to access the network of partner restaurants and stores that base their purchases on Fair Trade USA's program recommendations for “Best Choice” and “Good Alternative” seafood, the press release said.

Suripera fishing is an artisanal technique developed by local fishermen that uses wind and tide to drift fiberglass skiffs. It has the lowest bycatch and fuel consumption per pound of product in the world, the Fair Trade USA press release said.

“This is the second recognition received by the suripera shrimp fishery conducted in the region. Previously, eight cooperatives from Sinaloa, Mexico, reached Fair Trade USA certification against the Capture Fisheries Standard, becoming the only wild shrimp in the world that receives distinctions for their environmental good practices and social responsibility,” noted the press release.

Fair Trade's Capture Fisheries Standard was developed to provide fishers the opportunity to demonstrate the core elements of fair trade in their practices, while helping them commercialize their product.

According to the Seafood Watch report, Mexico was the seventh-largest shrimp exporter to the U.S. in 2015, exporting 24,443 metric tons of shrimp (both wild-caught and farmed).

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program defines sustainable seafood as originating from sources, whether wild-caught or farmed, which can maintain or increase production in the long-term without jeopardizing the structure or function of affected ecosystems

Seafood Watch bases its assessments of fisheries sustainability on research published in academic, peer-reviewed journals whenever possible. It also draws on government technical publications, fishery management plans and supporting documents, and other scientific reviews of ecological sustainability, the assessment report said.

Reporting from the Caribbean

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