Environment & Sustainability
The production of farmed shrimp has grown at a phenomenal rate of 20-30% per year in the last two decades. The dramatic failures of shrimp farms in Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and China during this period have raised concerns about the impact on the environment and the sustainability of shrimp aquaculture, in particular, intensive farming practices.
Among the environmental effects of shrimp culture are the loss of mangroves, salinization of soil and water, discharge of effluents resulting in pollution of the pond systems, receiving waters, and overuse or misuse of chemicals. Growing global consumer concerns over these issues has forced governments, farmers and packers to re-evaluate their manufacturing practices to ensure protection and restoration of mangrove habitats and wild shrimp stocks, management of pond effluents, regulation of chemical use and species introductions, and an integrated coastal area management approach to shrimp farming activities.
The Aquaculture Certification Council, Inc. is one group that has taken the lead to put together a program that certifies aquaculture farms, hatcheries, and processing plants to apply best manufacturing practices to ensure social and environmental responsibility, food safety and traceability throughout the production chain. Independent certifiers accredited by the council perform site inspections for program participants.
The ACC is part of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, whose mission is to promote the aquaculture industry and to advance environmental and social responsibility throughout the process of raising, processing and distributing aquaculture products.
As a member of the GAA, International Marketing Specialties adheres to the basic tenets of the GAA principles for responsible aquaculture as presented in the GAA publication, "Codes of Practice for Responsible Aquaculture". IMS fully supports the activities of the GAA and the certification activities of the ACC by purchasing most of its DelicaSea® shrimp products only from facilities that have completed the ACC certification process