The Port Arthur, Texas-based American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) has contracted with Global Trust Certification, Ltd., to complete sustainability assessments of the entire Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery for both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC) Responsible Fisheries Management certifications.

For the past 15 years, many industry stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery, including fishermen, docks and processors and governmental and non-governmental entities, have worked collectively on fishery improvement projects across the Gulf Coast to place the Gulf of Mexico fishery in a position to achieve sustainability certifications, according to ASPA.

“Many members of our industry – with the assistance of many talented governmental and non-governmental representatives, as well as various participants in the retail and foodservice sectors – have collectively worked hard to get to where we are today,” said Kristen Baumer, Chairman of the ASPA Sustainability Committee. “This day has been a long time coming and we are all excited to work with Global Trust this year to achieve both certifications.”

Achieving certification will allow ASPA to assure its retail and foodservice clients and the consuming public that wild-caught Gulf shrimp are sustainably sourced, ensuring the long-term biological, ecological and socioeconomic viability of the fishery.

The assessments will cover brown, white and pink shrimp in federal waters and the state waters of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the west coast of Florida, caught with otter trawls, skimmers and butterfly nets. 

“This isn’t just about a label,” said Trey Pearson, president of ASPA. “We know sustainability is important. It’s important for our customers, for our members, and for the futures of generations of hardworking fishermen.”

ASPA, along with many other industry participants, stakeholders, organizations and governmental and non-governmental entities, will work closely this year with Global Trust, MSC and CSC to achieve dual certifications.

“The fishery moving into assessment is the culmination of hard work by many industry stakeholders,” said Reese Antley, chairman of the Gulf Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable. “It’s a chance for the boats, docks and processors to show the commitment that we have for ensuring the sustainability of the Gulf shrimp industry.”