CSPI Welcomes Sustainable Shrimp Partnership
Statement by CSPI Deputy Director of Regulatory Affairs Sarah Sorscher
CSPI welcomes the launch of the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, an initiative started in Ecuador aimed at turning the direction of shrimp aquaculture to promote a “race to the top” in social and environmental standards. Members of the partnership should be applauded for their commitment to raising shrimp that meet and exceed the requirements of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, which certifies shrimp that meet environmental, health, and worker safety standards. The SSP has also committed to raising shrimp that are fully traceable and use zero antibiotics in their production, a measure that will help to preserve the effectiveness of these precious drugs for future generations.
Ecuador is the fifth largest importer of shrimp to the United States, after India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Imported shrimp has been criticized in the past for being farmed under poor conditions that contribute to human slavery, destruction of southeast Asian mangrove forest, and antibiotic residues in the resulting products. The new partnership addresses these problems head-on by establishing transparent social, environmental, and public health standards that will help to meet a rising consumer demand for sustainably-raised protein. We hope the food industry takes note of this important step, which serves as a call to action for further industry-wide improvements in shrimp and beyond.