Eco-Label Certification: A Case Study of the Campeche Shrimp Fishery, Mexico
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) eco—label certifies that seafood comes from a sustainable source. The use of this eco—label lags behind in the developing world, where ecosystem approaches to fishery management have not yet been widely implemented. However, the Food and Agriculture Organization under its REBYC—II LAC project is addressing ecosystem concerns within the shrimp trawl fisheries of a number of developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean by helping them to improve management of the negative ecosystem impacts by modifying their gear to reduce by—catch and habitat damage. This study investigates how the potential improvements identified by the REBYC—II LAC project will help in satisfying the requirements for obtaining an MSC certification in the Campeche shrimp fishery in Mexico. The feasibility and desirability of obtaining an MSC certification in this fishery was assessed by interviewing managers, fishers, processors, and other relevant stakeholders of the fishery. By comparing the MSC certification requirements with the current conditions of the Campeche shrimp fishery, this paper shows that the fishery is currently not certifiable. Although the REBYC—II LAC project could represent a significant step towards the potential certification of the fishery, further actions will need to be implemented by the Mexican management authorities and private sector, if certification is sought. This paper should help guide the Campeche shrimp industry and fishery managers towards the necessary steps for achieving sustainability.