Shrimp producers unite to lead the way towards zero antibiotics in aquaculture

27 Mar 2018

A group of leading producers in the seafood industry have made the commitment to produce healthy shrimp, farmed in a responsible way by launching the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP).

The commitment reflects the recognition for what is necessary in today’s changing food market landscape with the specific target of zero antibiotics use in shrimp farming. The collaboration, which started in Ecuador but is quickly gaining interest throughout Latin America and the rest of the world, aims to transform the global seafood markets by complying with high social and environmental standards to produce high quality shrimps. The SSP has outlined strict product criteria for its members. Next to committing to zero antibiotic use, members must also comply to full traceability, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification and minimal environmental impact – measured through an assessment of water quality.

The standard that prohibits antibiotics across the production process is praised by Dr. Michael Gilmore PhD, Director Harvard Infectious Disease Institute, and Principle Investigator of the Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance. He said: “This level of industry commitment in removing antibiotics from food production is a highly significant step in preserving the utility of drugs we have and reducing the likely spread of resistance. This is the direction we need to see all food sectors taking.”

Flavio Corsin, director of Aquaculture and Agrochemicals at IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, emphasizes that: “The SSP is a unique example of leadership in the aquaculture sector. Their ambitious zero-antibiotic target and the desire to include different scales of production in different countries are among the reasons why IDH is proud to be supporting this initiative”

In addition to improving industry standards, the SSP is also looking to drive industry-wide improvements through building collaborations between companies, stakeholders and NGOs to elevate the whole sector. By leading the Industry Scale Up Program, SSP will support small and mid-sized farms to improve their practises and reach the SSP set standard. To do this, SSP is supported by its advisory board – IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and ASC.

For more information on our work in Aquaculture listen to our Aquaculture podcast.

Companies and regions are invited to join the initiative. For more information visit www.sustainableshrimppartnership.org.

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