Last Update: December 2017
Farmed shrimp are a major import product into North American and European markets, 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, marine feed ingredient sourcing, and 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 along individual supply chains 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;
- Ensuring transparency in marine ingredients used in feed, and that marine ingredients are sourced from responsible fisheries or those actively engaged in improvements.
Current Improvement efforts:
Seafood Task Force—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.
Thailand (National – engaging government on co-ordinated disease management – all members)
Thailand (Surat Thani – Beaver Street Fisheries, Seabest/Seafarms)
Objective 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 (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 (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 (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 precompetitive issues that could be addressed through their coordinated actions.