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US Bans Mexican Shrimp Exports

US - The US government announced last week that it will prohibit imports of Mexican shrimp because the country has failed to adequately protect sea turtles.

Under Section 609 of US law 101-162, imports of Mexican shrimp into the US will be prohibited.

The decision to take away certification has been based on a number of visits made to Mexico by experts from the Department of State National Administration Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

If the US ban is upheld it could jeapordise nearly 60,000 tons of Mexican shrimp exported annually. These exports are valued at more than $350 million, representing 42 per cent of Mexico’s total seafood exports.

The ban will come into effect as of 20 April, the end of the shrimp season and so may not have a large impact on trade but will give Mexico time improve its sea turtle protection measures to comply with international standards.

The governments of Mexico and the US have worked in a coordinated way, from its strong commitment to environmental protection, to ensure that this situation is resolved in the shortest time possible and with as little impact to the fishing industry of our country. Among the measures agreed by both governments was achieved:

  • Ensure that the current fishing season culminating in their business unaffected. Industry can demonstrate the implementation of actions consistent with the protection of the turtle, in order to become certified at the start of next season.
  • Ensure that the restrictions apply only to shrimp caught with trawling gear that are recovered with mechanical support.

In addition, Mexico has launched an Immediate Action Plan and Work Programme Verification DET 2010-2012, which are generating positive results and which provide specific measures to ensure that shrimp fishing is carried out without affecting sea turtles.

the Fish Site Editor

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