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Proper Use of TEDs Puts Shrimp Exporters Back in Business

By María Fernanda Barría | Wed, 05/12/2021 - 17:17

Mexican Shrimp exporters are eager to be back in business and could secure more than $US262 million thanks to the correct installation and operation of Sea Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs).

Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture and the National Fisheries Commission (Conapesca) have agreed to continue wild-caught shrimps exports to the US due to the implementation of a training program that targets approximately 3,120 national shrimp fishers found on the  TEDs application This agreement is considered a step to secure and benefit Mexican shrimp exporters, considering the US purchases 80 percent of their products. Last year alone, a total of 25,750 tons of wild-caught shrimps were shipped to the US, according to the National Chamber of Fishing and Aquaculture Industries (Canainpesca). According to preliminary information, the ports that will participate in the TEDs are Mazatlán, Puerto Peñasco, Tampico and Campeche.

The implementation of training courses and the examination of the qualification procedures is a response to the US Federal Register´s April 30 announcement which stated that the license to export wild-caught shrimps was suspended due to inadequate sea turtle protection measures. Octavio Almada Palafox, director of Conapesca, explained that shrimp exports could continue as long as production does not come from fishing trawl. According to Agricultural Panorama 2020, published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mexico is the world´s seventh-largest shrimp producer

Alejandro Castillo, Associate Director of Conservation and Sustainable Fisheries at Pronatura Noroeste, said it requires a comprehensive strategy to combat illegal fishing, from designing programs to executing the law to El Economista.  "We must understand that the market is increasingly eager to have products that do not have negative environmental and social impact. If we cannot produce seafood products that ensure that they are not causing loss of biodiversity, the consequences will be serious in many ways." According to Castillo, the market values monitored shrimp and understands the consequences of sanctions from external authorities. Previously the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US (NOAA) signaled specific observations related to deficiencies of TEDs in about 106 observed networks located in Campeche, Mazatlán, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Juárez, Puerto Peñasco, Salina Cruz, San Blas and Tampico.

As several experts suggest, the fishing industry faces several environmental problems. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, one of them is the incorrect implementation of trawling and TEDs due to the lack of training workshops for shrimp fishers, which were suspended for two years.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Sader, Conapesca, Canainpesca, El Economista, El Milenio
María Fernanda Barría María Fernanda Barría Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst