Last Update: October 2018
Farmed shrimp, which are a major import product into North American and European markets, are typically produced in tropical countries. The bulk of farmed shrimp is produced in Asia. Key issues in shrimp production include the need to manage disease risk, public water quality, and marine feed ingredient sourcing, as well as continued opportunities for small-scale producers. There are other issues in feed supply chains and post-harvest processing, but they are not the focus of this grouping. SFP is working with major importers to develop aquaculture improvement projects that tackle issues and engage governments and whole producing sectors in the improvements needed to ensure sustainable aquaculture products are available at scale.
Aquaculture Improvement Projects
An Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) is a multi-stakeholder effort to address sustainability issues in an aquaculture industry or production area. AIPs take a systemic approach to aquaculture, and aim to address sustainability at multiple levels, including individual farm practices, zonal (regional) resource use, and ensuring adequate policy frameworks at the national and provincial scale. The primary aim of an AIP is to reduce the cumulative and combined impacts of aquaculture practices that can arise from poor water usage practices, over-density of farms, incorrect (inappropriate) zoning/siting, unsustainable feed management, and insufficient coordination of disease treatment. Specifically, an AIP should aim to achieve the following:
- National and regional regulatory frameworks based on zonal aquaculture management
- Organized producers using and enforcing best management practices by all
- Resource management systems adequate to protect habitat and water quality
- Robust monitoring and reporting to demonstrate effective mitigation of shared disease risk
- Transparency in marine ingredients used in feed, and ensuring that those ingredients are sourced from responsible fisheries or those actively engaged in improvements.
Current Improvement efforts:
- Seafood Task Force is an industry-driven multi-stakeholder alliance working to address environmental and social issues in Thailand’s seafood supply chain. Membership includes numerous SFP partners and SR participants.
- In Thailand, at the national level, all members are engaging the government on coordinated disease management.
- In Surat Thani, Thailand, Beaver Street Fisheries, Seafresh, and Rubicon Resources are working on improvements around health management with local shrimp clubs and cooperatives.
Objectives of the SR:
- Engage governments and national industries to reduce disease risks and environmental impacts of the shrimp industry.
- Initiate multi-stakeholder aquaculture improvement projects in support of national-level engagement.
- Improve traceability of final products and transparency of inputs, particularly on the sources of fishmeal.
SR-level improvement recommendations:
- Encourage suppliers to formally participate in the Asia Farmed Shrimp SR, to engage national governments to adopt full zonal aquaculture sector management.
- Ask suppliers for transparency on the provinces they are sourcing shrimp from (so that FishSource assessments can be developed for relevant provinces).
- Encourage regulators to adopt zonal approaches to aquaculture management at the national and regional levels.
- Start pre-competitive AIPs in provinces that are significant sourcing locations.
AIPs initiated by National Fish & Seafood in India and Vietnam to BAP group certification.
Seafood Expo North America (Boston), March 2014 – First SR meeting to understand key issues in major producing countries.
Additional AIP model developed with a focus on engaging farms that neighbor a core supplier. Beaver Street Fisheries initiated development of such an AIP with suppliers in Thailand.
Seafood Expo North America (Boston), March 2015 – Refining and sharing revised AIP models.
Vancouver, October 2015 – Reviewing progress of initial AIP implementation.
Initiation of preparation for new AIP with Seabest/Seafarms in Chumphon, Thailand.
Seafood Expo North America (Boston), March 2017 – SR meeting conducted.
SR membership expanded and structure and meeting schedule formalized. The main SR members now meet virtually on a monthly basis to discuss pre-competitive issues that could be addressed through their coordinated actions.
Monthly meetings continue. Members have secured funding from Walmart Foundation and IDH for improvement work in Surat Thani province. MOU drafted with Thai Department of Fisheries and Tha Thong Shrimp Famers Cooperative for delivery of disease management tools.
Face-to-face meetings in Boston and Seafood Task Force meetings in Bangkok conducted.
Thai Union joins the SR and members actively develop projects to engage the Indonesian government and industry on improvements to environmental and disease risks.