U.S. and Mexico Reach Shrimp Agreement

shrimp-puerto-penasco

It went like this. A line drawn in the sand got washed away by the first wave. Or better yet, you could look at it this way.  The U.S. shutdown of Mexico shrimp lasted about as long as a fresh shrimp cocktail on your plate. Not very long. In either case, I’m happy to say, “I told you so.” Wouldn’t it be great if all conflicts between nations got resolved so quickly and easily?

Endangered sea turtles have been getting unintentionally caught in the nets of Mexico shrimping boats. This has been an ongoing problem.

By reaching an agreement yesterday, a “mañana” approach and procrastination are now officially off the table. The Mexican government is now officially on the clock with their American counterparts. June 1, 2021 is the agreed upon deadline for having an effective strategy  in place for solving the sea turtle problem. Wouldn’t it be great if all conflicts between nations could be resolved so quickly and peacefully? (Meantime, I have already confirmed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. You can still bring shrimp from Rocky Point across the border).

On April 30, the U.S. Government announced it was suspending the certification of wild-caught shrimp imports from Mexico. It was the U.S. publicly calling out the Mexican Government on failing to enact measures which were to be taken during shrimping season.

The threat behind the U.S. net was clear. “Mexico, we love your shrimp. But if you want to keep selling them to Americans, you’d better finally start doing something to protect endangered sea turtles.”

rocky-point-shrimp

Do not rush yourself into wrongly judging the Puerto Peñasco shrimping industry. It appears those providing the locally caught fresh shrimp so many people love were not getting the proper tools, training, or communication regarding protecting sea turtles.

In the end, the United States of America simply had too much clout in this dispute. Various reports show it receives roughly 80% of Mexico’s shrimp exports. With tens of thousands of tons in product, and hundreds of millions of dollars in payment, too much was at stake.

The bulk of Mexico’s shrimp industry success comes from its western states. Places such as Puerto Peñasco, other locations in Sonora, Baja California, Nayarit, and Sinaloa. American consumers by far the biggest target for Mexico shrimp exports. But Asian countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, and Malaysia are among those who love Mexico shrimp, too.

 

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