NFI Statement on Misguided Mexican Shrimp Boycott

WASHINGTON, DC March 16, 2017 — The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and our members are committed to sustainable fishing and support efforts to combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing in all its forms, as explained in our recent communications with NGO’s.  We support specific, concentrated efforts to mitigate the impact of commercial fishing on the endangered vaquita. Efforts to ensure targeted exclusion of gill nets in legally protected areas are the types of responsible means of addressing this issue we continue to support.

All Mexican shrimp harvesting vessels are required to be outfitted with real-time satellite monitoring systems to prevent entry into protected areas. We support and encourage robust enforcement of these restrictions by Mexican authorities.

The groups calling for a boycott of all Mexican Shrimp as a means to protect this species have themselves, in a March 3rd letter, acknowledged that, “illegal fishing for totoaba is the current primary threat to vaquita.” The groups go on to point to shrimp vessels caught illegally harvesting as examples of the threat. The fact that the boats in question were apprehended is actually an illustration that enforcement efforts with respect to the shrimp fleet work.

Targeting legally sourced Mexican shrimp for a boycott in a misguided attempt to draw attention to this issue is unfortunate. This strategy seeks to disadvantage some of the most committed supporters of legal, sustainable shrimp harvesting.

Are some cars on the highway speeding? Yes. But as a means of increasing compliance with posted speed limits is anyone suggesting all cars be banned? No.

If illegal fishing is negatively impacting efforts to protect vaquita then support for increased enforcement is what’s needed not a boycott on those already doing the right thing.

John Connelly
National Fisheries Institute

NFI is the leading trade association for the fish and seafood industry whose members represent a variety of businesses ranging from the water to the table.  For more information visit our Web site at


Contact Information

Gavin Gibbons
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