Ecuadorian industry group welcomes shrimp's inclusion in US seafood import monitoring program
The Ecuadorian shrimp industry, as represented by the country’s National Chamber of Aquaculture and the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP), says that it welcomes the addition of shrimp to the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), calling it a milestone for consumers to choose shrimp produced under the highest standards.
In a statement, the executive president of the National Chamber of Aquaculture Ecuador, Jose Antonio Camposano, said that “we are very satisfied to see the addition of shrimp to the U.S. imports monitoring program,” and that shrimp has been a commodities market where quality and health are not as important as price.
“The updated measure will change that, and can only be good for regions, such as Ecuador, who are dedicated to responsible production. There are consumers who care about what they eat, and how it was produced, but they need more information in order to make wise choices.” Camposano said in the statement.
Camposano has been a public voice for Ecuadorian shrimp producers and the launch of the SSP last month. The initiative for the farmed shrimp sector looks to promote higher quality products produced to stringent social and environmental standards. It includes receiving Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification, full traceability, zero use of antibiotics, and a minimal environmental impact, as measured through a water quality assessment.
“The SSP commitments fully support the requirements of the U.S. monitoring program,” added Camposano. “And we firmly believe increased traceability is the only way we can change the direction of the industry and provide consumers with the confidence that the food they are eating is free of antibiotics and produced responsibly.”
Camposano also said that the Ecuadorian producers share the support of SIMP with U.S. domestic shrimp producers.
Not all in the shrimp industry support SIMP as it has been proposed, arguing that its quick implementation will result in a bottleneck for shrimp imports, which are responsible for 90 percent of shrimp consumption in the United States.
The U.S. omnibus spending bill passed in late March and signed by President Donald Trump stipulates all shrimp imports be compliant with SIMP by the end of 2018. The law requires seafood importers to maintain records of certain products from the time they’re caught or harvested to the time they reach the United States.