California industrial shrimp FIP compliance drive
Meridian Products and Ocean Garden Products have been working together to finance and take on the leadership of the FIP, a key part of which has been ensuring good compliance with all Mexican fisheries regulations.
Meridian Products, as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) led FIP in 2013-2014, was the first company to apply control documents in Mexico and have compliance of fishing vessels supplying them checked by an independent auditor.
“The sustainability of the resource is entirely dependent upon the fishermen and shipowners,” said Rick Martin, president of Meridian Products. “The control document is the public and legal commitment of the shipowners to undertake that responsibility.”
SFP started fisheries improvement work on the fishery in 2007, and led improvement efforts until 2016 and then started to transfer leadership to industry.
In addition to control documents, the FIP is now focusing on dialog with the Mexican authorities to strengthen the formal stock assessment process, another critical requirement to ensure long-term sustainability of the resource.
“The stock assessment is the single most important indicator as to the current health of the species, and the predictor of future stock. Healthy fisheries are the life-blood to the economy and to the long-term sustainability of the ocean and the shrimp industry,” commented Lance Leonard, president and CEO of Ocean Garden.
The FIP has signed agreements with Pesca Responsable y Comercio Justo, a Mexican company, to provide technical support and aid with public reporting. ■