INACTIVE Mexico Baja California Sur blue and brown shrimp – bottom trawl/cast net

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Reason for Inactivity
  • Three years without environmental progress


The Magdalena Bay shrimp FIP started in 2010 in collaboration with Northern Chef and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). The project leadership was transferred to Northern Chef in January 2014. 

The Pacific Ocean is the most productive fishing area in Mexico, providing approximately 75 percent of seafood catch by volume, and accounting for most of the country’s seafood exports by value. Shrimp in the northwest Pacific coast of Mexico is the most important fishery in Mexico. It has the highest economic value of landings, averaging $260 million. It is also the highest-ranked fishery in terms of the number of vessels (750 bottom trawlers and about 18,000 small-scale vessels) and the number of direct jobs (37,000 direct jobs as well as 75,000 indirect ones). It places third in terms of volume with annual captures of approximately 50,000 tons during the fishing season which begins in September and runs through March.

The Magdalena Bay shrimp fishery generates annual landings of 3 million pounds with a value of $15 million USD. Seventy percent of the total landings are brown shrimp and 30 percent are Pacific blue shrimp. The fishery operates with 27-foot-long vessels equipped with outboard motors. In the case of brown shrimp, the vessels are equipped with a 35-foot head rope bottom trawl. For blue shrimp, the gear utilized is the Suripera, a modified cast net. In both cases, the fishing unit is operated by two fishermen who conduct daily trips, usually nocturnal for brown shrimp and diurnal for blue shrimp.

The fishery is regulated by the Mexican Official Standard NOM-002-SAG/PESC-2013 which establishes access controls (fishing licenses and concessions) and fishing gear and fishing grounds restrictions. CONAPESCA opens and closes the fishing season according to the scientific advice provided by INAPESCA which has a continuing monitoring program on shrimp stocks. The most recent abundance estimates indicate that both stocks yields are above the historic averages which confirm the recovery trends.

In October 2017, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program published a new report and recommendations on Mexican wild shrimp, giving the fishery a Good Alternative recommendation. The new recommendations for blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris) can be found here and for the brown shrimp (Penaeus californiensis) can be found here.

FIP Description 

The Magdalena Bay shrimp FIP started in 2010 in collaboration with Northern Chef and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). The project leadership was transferred to Northern Chef in January 2014. 

FIP Objective(s) 

General Objective:

By the end of 2023, the FIP aims to comply with the MSC indicators for sustainable fisheries fully.  

This FIP is also working towards completing the following objectives:

  • By the end of 2022, a continuous assessment of the shrimp populations targeted by the fishery is implemented. 
  • By the end of 2023, the fishery's environmental impacts are maintained at documented levels.
  • By the end of 2023, the supply chain will achieve full compliance with fishery regulations.
FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 4: Improvements in Fishing Practices or Fishery Management
Start and Projected End Dates
Due to the pandemic caused by COVID 19, many of the actions carried out had to be stopped. Some of them still cannot be carried out for health safety reasons, but others actions have been resumed in their entirety. For this reason, the completion date changed, making the necessary adjustments for each of the objectives and their timing. Subject to the side effects of the pandemic, the end date is contemplated to be December 2023.
Common Name 
Brown Shrimp
Scientific Name
Penaeus californiensis
Common Name 
Blue Shrimp
Scientific Name
Penaeus stylirostris
Gear Type 
Bottom Trawl
Cast Net
Exclusive Economic Zones
Geographic Scope 
Bahia Magdalena-Almejas system Southern Baja California

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Northern Chef
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Jeff Lam
Organization Name 
Victor Vargas Lopez
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Victor Vargas López
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.