Farmed Shrimp Improvement Profile
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s shrimp production is certified, rated, or in a FIP. More than three quarters of wild shrimp production is not yet assessed. While more than three quarters of farmed shrimp production is certified, rated, or in a FIP, about two-thirds of farmed shrimp is red-rated. Our improvement efforts prioritize farmed shrimp that is:
- Red-rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program (see all farmed shrimp ratings here); or
- Within the scope of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Target 75 Initiative (more information available in the Target 75 Farmed Shrimp Strategy Report).
A baseline step businesses can take to accelerate progress in improving performance is to prioritize the purchase of certified or Best Choice shrimp and encourage suppliers to pursue improvements. The collaboration is focused on improving the performance of farmed shrimp production by building on promising NGO and industry initiatives.
Aquqculture Stewardship Council
As an important global commodity, ASC has focused numerous efforts on improving the ecological and social performance on shrimp farms and increasing the uptake of ASC certification.
- ASC maintains a formal partnership with the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (Ecuador) to support fully traceable and sustainable production systems. Through the provision of training and advice, ASC is supporting producers in producing a premium product.
- ASC works with technology providers, such as Verik8 to help farmers identify compliance gaps against ASC standards, to facilitate improvements needed to meet certification requirements.
- ASC has benchmarked the VietGAP standard against the ASC Standard to map overlaps and differences between the two standards. As an outcome of this exercise a set of recommendations has been developed for future development of the VietGAP standard, as well as a set of tailored guidance materials for VietGAP certified farmers that want to step up to ASC certification. Benchmarking of standards will help to develop stepping stone approaches and provide recognition for local standards and can be a meaningful way to foster greater improvement at scale.
- ASC is developing an Aquaculture Improvement Programme to provide farms a clear and measurable path to certification. The program pairs producers with support to conduct initial assessments, understand gaps in performance and establish an action plan to achieve certification and best practices within a defined time frame. The program will be piloted on shrimp farms in 2020, with subsequent expansion across production systems. Interested businesses can contact ASC’s Roy Van Daatselaar (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about the Improver Programme.
Seafood Watch is working with diverse stakeholders to improve farmed shrimp in India and Vietnam. Readers interested in engaging in these projects can let us know here. The goals of this work are:
- By 2025, all whiteleg shrimp production in Andhra Pradesh, India will achieve at least a Good Alternative rating or equivalent by addressing data availability and transparency, shrimp farm siting and registration, chemical use and disease management. The project is actively tracked and updated here.
- By 2025, 20,000 giant tiger prawn farms in Cà Mau province, Vietnam, will achieve a Best Choice rating or equivalent. By 2030, all remaining shrimp farms in Cà Mau will achieve at least a Good Alternative rating. The project is actively tracked and updated here.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
SFP’s “T75” initiative is focused on ensuring that at least 75% of world production in key sectors is sustainable (i.e., certified by the MSC program, or green-listed in SFP’s Metrics tool) or making regular, verifiable improvements. For wild production:
- Certified by one of the following programs: IFFO RS, ASMI RFM, Iceland Responsible Fisheries, Fair Trade USA
- Or under full assessment in the MSC program
- Or in a FIP that is making good progress (i.e., a FIP with either with a progress rating of A, B, or C using SFP’s FIP evaluation tool, or formed in the past 12 months and not yet rated)
Almost all shrimp species fall within the Target scope. SFP has developed a visual display of T75 progress for each of the key seafood sectors, including small and large shrimp. Please check the latest estimates here.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Asian Farmed Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable, focuses on engaging governments and national industry to improve management of the shrimp industry and accelerate adoption of better management practices to reduce disease risk and environmental impacts. The SR works by advocating for policy and regulatory change directly via supply chain networks, as well as by initiating and supporting multi-stakeholder aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs). Current recommended actions and SFP contacts are listed on the “Activity” tab of each SR’s page. If your company buys large shrimp from Asia, please consider joining or encourage your suppliers to join.
There are currently several active shrimp AIPs being implemented in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand that are contributing to sustainability improvements. To learn more about specific AIPs, consult the AIP Directory.