The Gulf of Mexico shrimp industry has made vast improvements in sustainability over the last 15 years, including stock monitoring, bycatch reduction, area closures, and sea turtle nesting enhancement projects. However, there is still room for improvements in sustainability. The Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable focuses on monitoring sustainability status and issues in US shrimp fisheries and pushes for improvements where they are needed.  

While wild caught shrimp are not the main source of global supply in the large-shrimp sector, the US Gulf of Mexico shrimp fisheries (contributing only around 1 percent of global production in the sector) are an important source at the doorstep of one of the major markets for large shrimp: the United States.

The Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable thus focuses on shrimp fisheries in the US Gulf of Mexico, primarily those targeting white, brown, and pink shrimp.

Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered:

The following FIPs and Marine Advancement Plans (MAPs) are supported and monitored:

Alabama shrimp – small bottom trawl/skimmer nets

Gulf of Mexico northern pink shrimp – otter trawl

Louisiana shrimp – otter/skimmer trawl

Mississippi shrimp FIP

US Texas shrimp – otter trawl

Wood’s Florida shrimp FIP 

For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please follow this link. 

Improvement Needs and Recommendations:

Improvement Needs:

1.   Evaluate the Gulf of Mexico shrimp observer program. Coverage levels in the Gulf of Mexico shrimp observer program are low, and it is unclear if this coverage level is providing statistically robust bycatch data.

2. UpdateTED Compliance and Effectiveness data. TED Compliance and Effectiveness data are posted on the NOAA Southeast Regional Office's Sea Turtle Protection and Shrimp Fisheries webpage, but have not been updated since December 2016.  

Current Objectives:

SFP’s general objectives for this roundtable are to provide a platform for the seafood supply chain to oversee shrimp fishery improvement projects (FIPs) throughout the Gulf of Mexico, learn from experience and develop best practices, and cooperate to apply leverage to drive further improvements. For 2018, the Supply Chain Roundtable participants agreed to undertake the three action recommendations below as the current objectives of the SR. 

Action Recommendations for Suppliers:

1. Commission and fund a workshop to bring together the NOAA Shrimp Observer Program, a certification agency familiar with the MSC and G.U.L.F. Standards, and other knowledgeable parties, to discuss observer-program-related barriers to certification of the shrimp fishery and to identify solutions.

2.  Send a letter to the NOAA Southeast Regional Office requesting a public update of the Sea Turtle Capture Rates and TED Effectiveness data. 

3.  Monitor ongoing progress on ecosystem-based fishery management in the Gulf of Mexico by the Gulf Council and NOAA.  

A summary of SR progress and activities can be found here

Project Contact:

If you would like more information about the roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.