Agriculture and Environment: Shrimp

Better Management Practices: Regulations to Encourage BMPs

Governments can use better practices as a basis for the development of laws and regulations to reduce the social and environmental impacts of the shrimp aquaculture industry.

In addition, they can make permits and operating licenses dependent on proven adoption of such BMPs.


Performance standards for producers
In this way a government could work with an entire industry to set the performance bar sufficiently high so that anyone who wants to become a producer will have to agree to those standards from the outset. A reputation for reduced social and environmental impacts could easily have a market impact.

At this time, Thai shrimp receive a 5% market premium just because they are Thai shrimp, as the perception in the market is that the shrimp produced in Thailand are better. (Of course, this means that Thai exporters can buy shrimp from other areas and re-export them, knowing that they will get a 5% margin.)

Governments can also require, as a condition of permitting and licensing, the posting of an environmental performance bond.

Such a bond would provide the money necessary to correct environmental damage from a shrimp operation or to rehabilitate a shrimp aquaculture operation back to a natural ecosystem state if it fails. This is common in other industries (e.g., mining, oil, and gas), but it is not yet common in aquaculture.

Credits

Extracts from "World Agriculture & Environment" by Jason Clay - buy the book online from Island Press

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