US certifies countries and fisheries for wild shrimp imports


The United States has certified 37 countries, 13 fisheries in seven other countries and Hong Kong as having shrimp harvesting practices that protect sea turtle populations, according to the US State Department.

The State Department’s findings were published last week in the Federal Register and made public in a press release issued Monday, May 16, 2022. The determinations mean that wild-caught shrimp from these countries can be imported into the United States. .

Certified countries are Argentina, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji , Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland. , Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Russia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

The other certified fisheries are based in Australia (Northern Prawn Fishery, Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery, Spencer Gulf and Torres Strait Prawn Fishery), France (French Guiana), Italy (giant red prawn), Japan (basket prawn in Hokkaido ), Malaysia (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor), Spain (Mediterranean red shrimp) and South Korea (mosquito nets).

“For nations, economies, and fisheries not listed above, only shrimp harvested from aquaculture are eligible to enter the United States,” said the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. in the Federal Register on May 13.

Russian seafood imports are currently banned following sanctions imposed by US President Joe Biden after Russia invaded Ukraine in March 2022.

Since 1991, the United States has prohibited the importation of wild shrimp unless the fisheries have been certified as having adopted comparable regulatory practices in the United States in terms of protecting sea turtle populations. Nations can also be exempted if their shrimp fishery does not threaten sea turtle habitats during shrimp harvest.

The State Department said six of the seven species of sea turtles are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

“The U.S. government is currently providing technology and capacity-building assistance to other countries to help them meet the certification standard under Section 609 and contribute to the recovery of sea turtle species,” the department said. of state. “The US government is also encouraging legislation like Section 609 in other countries to prevent the importation of shrimp harvested in a manner harmful to protected sea turtles.”

Photo courtesy of Mati Nitibhon/Shutterstock


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