FAO Releases Major Report on Shrimp Fisheries


Steven Hedlund

Published on
February 17, 2009

A 359-page report the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization released Friday warned that weak management in many countries is adversely affecting shrimp fisheries and the marine environment.

However, the report, “Global study of shrimp fisheries,” stated that many mechanisms exist to mitigate the harmful effects of shrimp fishing, including high bycatch rates. “The inference is that … shrimp fishing, including shrimp trawling, is indeed manageable,” the report stated.

Global shrimp production now totals about 6 million metric tons annually, with wild shrimp representing about 3.4 million metric tons, according to the report. The global shrimp trade is valued at USD 10 billion (EUR 7.8 billion), or 16 percent of the global seafood trade, more than any other seafood item.

The global shrimp trade “generates substantial economic benefits, especially for many developing countries,”  the report stated.

The report examined shrimp fisheries in 10 countries — Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States — and looks at numerous shrimp fishing-related topics, including catch effort, bycatch, fuel, management, enforcement, data reporting and trade.

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