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GULF OF CALIFORNIA SINALOA ARTISANAL SHRIMP
FISHERY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

LAST UPDATE: JUNE 2017

The Gulf of California Sinaloa Artisanal Shrimp FIP was transitioned from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to Del Pacifico Seafoods in February 2015. The following is the first FIP public report prepared by the new FIP secretariat.


FIP Contact:
If you would like more information, or wish to support the FIP,
please contact
Del Pacífico Seafoods

FIP Participants
Del Pacífico Seafoods LLC
Pesca Responsable y Comercio Justo
MHMR International S.A. DE C.V.
SCPP Barra de la Tonina S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
SCPP Union de Pescadores del puerto de Altata S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
SCPP Ribereña Ensenada de la Palma S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
SCPP Ribereña Barra de Palmitas S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
SCPP Pescadores de la Boca del Rio Culiacán S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
SCPP Ribereña Abelardo Rubio Castro S. DE R.L. DE C.V.
• SCPP Ribereña Pescadores de la Pionia S. DE R.L. DE C.V.
• SCPP Nicolás Escarrega Inzunza S.C.L. DE C.V.
 
Other Partners/Stakeholders
Sinaloa State Government
Comisón Nacional de la Pesca (CONAPESCA)
Instituto nacional de la Pesca (INAPESCA)
 
Sustainability Information:
For sustainability information in FishSource see:
Blue shrimp - Sinaloa Gulf of California
Whiteleg shrimp - Sinaloa Gulf of California

See also Seafood Watch of Monterey Bay Aquarium
and Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood of Blue Ocean Institute

Date Publicly Announced: 2010

sustainableshrimp

FIP Stage 4
FIP is delivering improvement in policies or practices

Current Improvement Recommendations:
• Request the development and implementation of a management plan
• Request the legal verification of fishing gear
• Improve the landings registry and provide information to INAPESCA for stock evaluations


Background:

Shrimp in the northwest Pacific coast of Mexico, including the Gulf of California, is the most important fishery in México. It has the highest economic value of landings, averaging $260 million. It is also the highest ranked fishery in terms of number of vessels (750 bottom trawlers and about 18,000 small-scale vessels) and number of direct jobs (37,000 direct jobs and 75,000 indirect ones). It places third in terms of volume with annual landings of approximately 40,000 tons during a season that begins in September and runs through March.

The artisanal Sinaloa shrimp fishery generates annual landings of 850 tons with a value of $3.4 million. Fishing is conducted in 25-foot-long vessels equipped with outboard motors (only for transportation purposes, because the gear is operated using the wind/tide currents) and an 80-foot modified cast net operated by two fishermen who conduct daylight trips.

The fishery is regulated by the Mexican Official Standard and, according to the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) stocks are exploited at maximum sustainable levels with seasonal variations in captures related to environmental variations, Major concerns in the fishery include: unauthorized fishing vessels operating and landing and use of fishing gears other than those authorized in the standard.


Market of Sinaloa Artisanal Shrimp

The market for artisanal Sinaloa shrimp is the US (70 percent, primarily frozen in 5-pound blocks) and the domestic market (30 percent, fresh and frozen in 4-pound blocks).


Beginning of the FIP

In 2009, SFP conducted an MSC pre-assessment for the various fishery units occurring in the Gulf of California, including the Suripera artisanal fishery in the coastal lagoons of northern Sinaloa. With the pre-assessment results, SFP established negotiations with producers and processors in order to conduct an evaluation of environmental impacts of the fishery, primarily bycatch composition and extent. After five years coordinating the FIP with minimum market leverage, SFP started collaboration with Del Pacifico Seafoods and their supply chain to transfer them the FIP finally, process which concluded in January 2015 with the development of a two-year workplan.


FIP Objectives:

• Evaluate environmental impacts of the fishery, including bycatch extent and composition, and habitat impacts
• Collaborate with INAPESCA on the information collection for improving the stock assessments
• Implement a traceability and legal verification protocol
• Seek the recognition of sustainability practices

sustainableshrimp

Progress Update

• MRAG-Americas conducted MSC pre-assessment.
• MRAG-Americas started the report development, SFP started to collect and distribute available public information.
• MSC pre-assessment report draft was sent to SFP for its review; SFP continued to provide information.
• In February 2010, the fishery underwent an MSC pre-assessment and the report indicated that the improvement needed was on the management system.
• SFP conducted meetings with producers and local government to present the MSC pre-assessment report and start the FIP process.
• Federación de Cooperativas del Norte de Sinaloa, a producers association, agreed to participate in the FIP process, with the objectives mentioned above and the following strategic actions:
- Document the environmental impacts of the fishery
- Request the authorization of the fishing gear used by the producers
- Reduce IUU
- Improve the landings registration and provide landings information to INAPESCA for stocks evaluation.
• SFP, with WWF and Pronatura (a Mexican environmental organization) contracted MRAG-Americas to develop a chain of custody for the different artisanal shrimp FIPs in order to reduce IUU and improve landings records.
• In April 2011, SFP collaborated with WWF and Pronatura to develop a workplan for 2011 and review the design of chain of custody developed by a third-party organization for different artisanal fisheries in the region, including Sinaloa.
• In December 2011, CONAPESCA updated the fishery regulation Mexican Official Standard (NOM-002) and published it for public consultation.
• FIP conducted meetings with INAPESCA and CIBNOR to develop the research protocol to evaluate the fishery environmental impacts to be implemented on the 2011-12 season.
• Bycatch monitoring program was implemented by INAPESCA-Guaymas and local producers in order to identify the species and volumes composition.
January – March
• In February 2012, INAPESCA-Guaymas and local producers implemented a bycatch-monitoring program in order to identify the species and volumes composition.
• Bycatch monitoring program was implemented by INAPESCA-Guaymas and local producers in order to identify the species and volumes composition.
• Detailed workplan for 2012 publicly available
April – June
• A FIP roundtable was held in April 2012. In that meeting, FIP participants agreed on the 2012 workplan which includes:
       - Evaluating the fishery against the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines.
       - Request to fisheries authorities the modification of the regulations regarding fishing gear configuration.
       - Fishing gear performance evaluation was concluded; final report is being edited and translated into English.
       - Report on the fishery environmental impacts finished by INAPESCA and CIBNOR with the following highlights:
             • 56 species identified in the bycatch
             • Finfish species is the most diverse group in the bycatch
             • Swimming crab is the most abundant species in the bycatch
             • No PET species were identified in the bycatch
             • Average bycatch ratio (shrimp:bycatch) of 1:0.5
July – September
• In August 2012, CONAPESCA published the Carta Nacional Pesquera 2012 with the stocks status report. • Management plan development process started with an initial meeting in late September.
• INAPESCA/CIBNOR final report translated into English and publicly available.
October – December
• Fishery management plan process concluded, management plan draft sent to stakeholders for review.
January – April
• CONAPESCA published for public consultation the new fishery regulation giving to interested parties a 60-day period to present opinions and suggestions.
• FIP prepared and presented to CONAPESCA a set of proposals to modify the proposed regulations, including:
             - Minimum mesh size of 1.75 inches
             - Maximum lead-line length of 52.5 feet
             - Maximum of four cod-ends/net< May – July
• SAGARPA/CONAPESCA published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación(DOF, Mexico’s Official Gazette) the new NOM-002, which continues requiring the use of the fishing gear configuration authorized in 1997, including:
             - Minimum mesh size of 1.25 inches
             - Maximum of five cod-ends/net
             - One net/vessel.
August – December
• MSC pre-assessment for the fishery was updated.
• Results of the report are the following:
• Negotiations with Del Pacifico Seafoods and their supply chain were conducted to transfer the FIP leadership to industry.
• In coordination with Del Pacifico Seafoods and their suppliers, bycatch composition and volumes were monitored during the September-December period.
January - March
• Bycatch composition and volumes continued to be monitored.
• Information collected was analyzed following the protocol defined in 2012 showing consistent results with those reported in 2012:
             - 56 species identified in the bycatch
             - Finfish species is the most diverse group in the bycatch
             - Swimming crab is the most abundant species in the bycatch
             - No PET species were identified in the bycatch
             - Average bycatch ratio (shrimp:bycatch) of 1:0.5
• 2015-2017 workplan was developed and agreed.
June – August
• A meeting with Fair Trade USA was organized for the FIP participants in order to better understand their new standard for Capture Fisheries certification.
• Two new cooperatives where accepted as FIP Participants:
             - SCPP Pescadores de la Boca del Río Culiacán S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Nicolás Escarrega Inzunza S.C.L. DE C.V.

• The FIP participants decided to proceed with the Sinaloa Artisanal Shrimp Fishery Certification with MHMR International as Certificate Holder and the following cooperatives:
             - SCPP Barra de la Tonina S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Unión de Pescadores del Puerto de Altata S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Ribereña Ensenada de la Palma S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Ribereña Barra de Palmitas S.C. de R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Pescadores de la Boca del Río Culiacán S.C. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Ribereña Abelardo Rubio Castro S. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Ribereña Pescadores de la Pionia S. DE R.L. DE C.V.
             - SCPP Nicolás Escarrega Inzunza S.C.L. DE C.V.

• Del Pacifico Seafood signed a contract with SCL Global Services to conduct the certification process. First Audit will be conducted on September 21-27, 2015.
• MHMR International and Pesca Responsable started the preparation of the Artisanal Sinaloa Shrimp Supply Chain for the certification process, including the training to cooperatives members on fair trade basic concepts (Please visit the photo gallery Click here), collecting regulatory (labor, fishing, social secutity) and environmental information required for the process.
• Two Fair Trade Associations where established, one for Bahía Santa Maria and one for Bahia de Altata where the cooperatives are represented by three delegates elected according to each cooperative internal elections/decision making processes.
• Protocol to evaluate the fishery impacts on habitat was developed and agreed. That protocol will be implemented on the September-December period. For details please click here

September – December
• In collaboration with SFP and Pelagic Data Systems, we initiated the evaluation of a vessel monitoring system (VMS) and traceability program to track the operation of the vessels/cooperatives participating in the FIP. Currently 85 vessels are equipped and monitored to evaluate and refine the system with the intention to expand the program to 100% of the fleet participating in the FIP.
• The evaluation of fishing gear impacts on the habitat initiated with the participation of researchers from the National Autonomous University’s Marine Sciences and Limnology Institute. Initial findings indicate that the fishing gear operation does not affect the water physicochemical properties of the fishing areas, the algal coverage the sediments composition and the benthic communities.

The monitoring started before the season to document the habitat conditions in the absence of fishing activities and will continue while the season remains open.
A comprehensive technical report will be prepared and made publicly available in this website in the second quarter of 2016.
January-April
• In January 15, 2016, the artisanal Sinaloa Shrimp was awarded with the Fair Trade USA certification under the Capture Fisheries Standard. The certificate is valid from 3 years and is subject to annual audits and the implementation of the corrective actions plan (here)
• The certificate can be reviewed here
• FIP participants, in coordination with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership presented a proposal to the Resources Legacy Fund which was awarded to update the MSC Preassessment for the fishery.
May-August
• Thanks to the close collaboration with the Sustainable Fisheries, the FIP received financial support from the Starwood Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to increase the VMS program from 80 to 200 vessels for the 2016-17 season.
• The certified cooperatives modified their statutes to incorporate the fair trade committee in the administrative structure and selected the first fair trade committee directorate.
• The fair trade premium use master plan was defined for each certified cooperative and the 2015-16 fair trade premium investment plan was also approved by the assemblies.
• The 2015-2016 season fair trade premium was provided to the certified cooperatives which invested the resources in:
             -Strengthening the cooperatives fishing capacity.
             -Improving the educative infrastructure of the fishing villages.
             -Strengthening the community-based enforcement program.
• The Stock assessments for the 2016-17 season was published by the National Fisheries Institute (here)
September-December
• The biennial monitoring program started with the beginning of the fishing season.
• 200 certified vessels started the season with 24/7 VMS
• Year I audit for the Fair Trade USA wild captures standard was conducted in December.
• FIP and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership agreed to hire MRAG Americas to conduct the MSC preassessment update.

January-June
• The bycatch monitoring program finished and the report was delivered. Results show the fishery environmental performance continues to be as registered in 2012 and 2014. The report can be downloaded (here)
• The MSC Preassessment update in in the final stages. Once it is received, the FIP workplan and public reporting will be migrated to the www.fisheryprogress.org platform.


Click here for comprehensive description of FIP results