Mexico Shrimp Caught in United States Net

puerto-penasco-old-port

The United States is banning imports of Mexico Shrimp. Relax. Here is what you need to know. There are no health risks for you eating delicious fresh shrimp from Rocky Point. Instead, the Mexico shrimp ban is based on unnecessary health risks to sea turtles.

What does this mean to you and shrimp loving visitors to Puerto Peñasco? Fortunately, you are not caught in the net. Despite CDC warnings, you are still free to enjoy Rocky Point. Despite a shrimp ban, you will not be peeled off from enjoying it in your meals.

I have confirmed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officials…they are currently still allowing travelers to bring Mexico shrimp across the border during the ban.

Basically, the strong U.S. action is designed for forcing the Mexican Government into acting. It claims Mexico has repeatedly failed to adhere to mandated protections of sea turtles established during shrimp harvesting. The U.S. Department of State announcement confirmed such in saying it, “suspended the certification of Mexico because its sea turtle protection program is no longer comparable to that of the United States.”

This is more than a bigger, and more powerful nation telling another what to do. The real muscle behind the ban is the United States is by far the biggest consumer of Mexico shrimp exports.

gulf-of-california-shrimp
Americans love shrimp from Mexico.

Previously, the U.S. ordered Mexico to apply protections ensuring sea turtles do not get caught in the trawl nets of fishing and shrimping boats. Trawl nets are large, industrial sized nets which are dragged underwater for catching Mexican shrimp. However, trawl nets also often result in unwanted or unintentional catches, such as sea turtles.

In fairness, Mexico did enact a requirement its commercial fishing and shrimping boats use sea-turtle-exclusion devices on its trawl nets. But for unknown reasons, the U.S. is reporting there has been such a lack of compliance, the expectations were not being met.

Speaking of expectations, I fully expect this Mexico shrimp ban by the U.S. to be temporary. Just look at the timing of the announcement: Mañana is on the clock. It is on notice.

The announced U.S. ban comes soon after the Mexico shrimping season officially ended in mid-March. The country’s new season does not begin until mid-September. So, this new ban provides ample time for the Mexican Government to enact and enforce improved measures which will better protect sea turtles.

Mexico immediately responded to the announcement of the U.S. ban by saying it will be working to regain its certification by implementing a “more aggressive program of inspection and oversight.” In other words, the announcement was not a surprise. The two nations are in discussions on the matter.

Sadly, nearly every species of sea turtle are classified as endangered. The World Wildlife Fund claims trawl nets are among the major factors forcing their demise.

 

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