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Breakthrough sale for shrimp sustainability initiative

16 March 2019, at 12:30a.m.

Ecuador's Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) has today signed off its first batch of approved farmed shrimp exports.

Building upon the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification process, SSP has been working with the expert technical standards organisation ICONTEC to develop the verification processes behind the additional SSP commitments. Now finalised, the first batch of shrimp to complete this process has been approved, resulting in 1,000 tonnes of SSP shrimp destined for stores and restaurants in the US and abroad this month, with more to follow.

11 farms in Ecuador produce SSI-certified shrimp
11 farms in Ecuador produce SSI-certified shrimp

© Tarah Mayes

All SSP shrimp is ASC-certified, farmed without the use of antibiotics, has a neutral impact on the environment and is fully traceable.

“Ensuring the highest quality product has always been our objective, and now through SSP we are able to provide a shrimp which meets the highest sustainability standards and offers a clean and natural product for consumers,” said Pamela Nath, SSP Director.

“Since SSP’s launch last year, we have taken the time needed to get our processes clearly defined and measurable, so that consumers can be completely confident that SSP products live up to the highest expectations. It is our mission to improve consumer choice for healthy and sustainable seafood, and today marks a major milestone for the industry with the release of a high-quality product which is not only ASC-certified, but also produced without the use of antibiotics.”

There are 11 farms in Ecuador producing SSP approved shrimp:

  • Agromarina, Lebama and Salmos farms (Songa – Sociedad Nacional de Galápagos)
  • Chanduy and Pañamao farms (Santa Priscila)
  • Naturisa, Maricultura, Kamaclusa and Rio Nilo farms (Naturisa)
  • Cachugran farm (Omarsa)
  • Produmar farm (Produmar)

Currently, the qualifying SSP shrimp will be processed and distributed by Omarsa, Santa Priscila and Songa, processing plants that are part of these members integrated groups.

“This is just our first batch of approved product, but we expect to see increasing volumes of SSP shrimp in the coming months,” added Nath. “We are already in dialogue with multiple partners in the market-place who are looking for premium products which meet the growing consumer demand, for clean, safe, and sustainable seafood.”

“SSP qualified shrimp is tangible proof that aquaculture is possible without the use of antibiotics at all. Ecuador is already known and respected for producing high-quality shrimp under the highest sanitary standards, and in providing reliable information that can be traced back to hatchery level. Leading an initiative like SPP, which is a reality today, is a step forward moving away from the commoditised low value generic shrimp market,” said José Antonio Camposano, Executive President of the National Chamber of Aquaculture of Ecuador.

“The SSP has challenged the status quo with ambitions to demonstrate traceability that can be trusted and product testing to ensure no antibiotics. This is a much more substantive approach to validation than what we typically see. The burden is now high and on the shrimp sector in Ecuador to show progress towards these targets,” said Aaron McNevin, head of aquaculture, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SSP qualified product will be available at Seafood Expo North America 2019.