The Pacific Ocean is the most productive fishing area for Mexico, providing approximately 75 percent of seafood catch by volume, and accounting for most of the country’s seafood exports by value. The Mexican Pacific Ocean industrial shrimp fishery is the most important fishery for the country; having the greatest economic value. It is also the highest-ranked fishery in terms of number of vessels and directly-connected jobs. The fishery is also the country’s third largest by volume with annual landings of approximately 40,000 tonnes, 2/3 of which are exported to the US Market.
At the same time, the industrial shrimp fishery has some ecologically damaging effects on the habitats where it harvests. For decades, the use of antiquated gear and an increase in the number and the size of vessels have exacted a heavy toll on the environment. Prior to the fleet reduction ten years ago, it was estimated that high levels of bycatch had resulted in the wasteful discard of tens of thousands of tonnes of approximately 600 marine species.
Fortunately, in the last two decades the Mexican Pacific Ocean Industrial shrimp fishery has implemented major improvements toward achieving sustainability:
- The fleet reduction is by far the biggest change implemented. Thanks to the federal government’s buyout program which began in 2006, the fleet was reduced by 50 percent and today has the same number of vessels that it had in the 1970s.
- The shrimp fishing gear has also evolved significantly. All vessels in the fleet now use low-weight materials that have reduced their drag weight by 90 percent. Furthermore, besides the requiring the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), the new fishery regulations require mandatory use of bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) and establishes a maximum net size. The fishery also requires the use of bigger mesh sizes to foster selective harvesting.
- Fishery administration and enforcement have also improved. All shrimp fishing vessels are now monitored 24/7 by the fisheries agency CONAPESCA through a vessel monitoring system (VMS).
After eight years of coordinating with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, it is time for the industry to take the leadership of the FIP to continue satisfying the markets sustainability demands. After some negotiations, PROMARMEX (Productores del Mar de México S.A. de C.V.), a consortium of 96 fishing companies which consolidates and packs all products under its own brand “Mexican Shrimp Paradise”, has received the FIP leadership and coordination.
PROMARMEX has a 10 years partnership with Amende & Schultz Company who is responsible for sales and marketing of the brand in the United States. PROMARMEX also controls 350 fishing boats (60% of the fleet in Sinaloa state and 50% of the Mexican Pacific Ocean fleet) and 6 processing facilities all located in Mazatlán, Sinaloa.
PROMARMEX fleet operates across the entirety of the fishery's geographic distribution, from the western coast of the Baja California Peninsula to the border with Guatemala, including the Sea of Cortez, up to the Guaymas region in the center of the Gulf of California. That's why the group is concentrates on a variety of species and sizes of Mexican wild caught shrimp.
The Pacific Ocean is the most productive fishing area for Mexico, providing approximately 75 percent of seafood catch by volume, and accounting for most of the country’s seafood exports by value. The Mexican Pacific Ocean industrial shrimp fishery
- Promote the continuous assessment of all the shrimp stocks targeted by the fishery
- Promote transparency in the monitoring, research and decision making process for the fishery management
- Promote monitoring and assessment of the fishery environmental impacts
- Promote full compliance with fishery regulations
- Promote supply chain transparency and accountability
How is this FIP Doing?
FisheryProgress.org uses 28 industry-standard indicators based on the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard to track FIP progress. Comprehensive FIPs must address all red and yellow indicators, while basic FIPs may address only a subset of indicators.
The first bar below shows a snapshot of the FIP’s current performance against the indicators. The second bar below shows the FIP’s performance against the indicators when it started so you can see how much progress the FIP has made over time. Both bars use the following scale: Red=below 60, Yellow=60-79, Green=80 or higher, Gray=the subset of indicators a basic FIP is not addressing.