Global Shrimp Outlook: 2003 convened the world's top shrimp buyers, producers, and suppliers to consider the status and future of shrimp aquaculture. A record 175 participants attended the Nov. 3-6 conference organized by the Global Aquaculture Alliance in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico.
At the meeting outset, discussions that included legal counsel from Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and strategies suggested by the American Seafood Distributors Association helped delegates understand how to prepare for an anticipated antidumping petition in the United States. Representatives of Chile's salmon industry, which first felt
the effects of antidumping in 1997, explained how coordinated legal preparation and representation are key to countries' defense against unjustified import tariffs.
Although antidumping was a central issue at Global Shrimp Outlook: 2003, shrimp supply, demand, and pricing were its primary focus. Proprietary reports presented in brief, focused sessions detailed current and projected shrimp production from top shrimp producing areas. For example, Thiraphong Chansiri of Thai Union Frozen Products Public Co. Ltd. reported on the dramatic change in shrimp species under way in Thailand's farms and processing plants during
this past year.
Additional experts outlined shrimp demand in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China. Participants learned from Fatima Satya of Pacific Supreme Co. that although China is the world's largest producer of shrimp, a majority of its 400,000-mt annual harvest is consumed within the country.
At meeting end, Dr. James Anderson of the University of Rhode Island factored country-by-country production figures into a quantitative economic model to project future pricing in the U.S., France, and Japan.
An unexpected benefit of the GSOL conference was the sense that the highly fragmented international shrimp aquaculture industry is beginning to develop a more cooperative approach to common issues. For example, informal discussions about market conditions at GSOL led to a proposed initiative to develop a voluntary generic marketing
campaign to stimulate shrimp consumption and help balance consumption with increasing supply. This idea is now being pursued in conjunction with the National Fisheries Institute.
In the first day's keynote address, Phil Fitzpatrick, group managing director of Marine Harvest Americas, drew important parallels between shrimp farming and the salmon industry. As with shrimp, he said, the evolution of salmon production included increasing scrutiny for environmental, social, and food safety issues, as well as periods of business consolidation and integration. He suggested that to move forward, the shrimp industry should be a good steward of the
environment, socially responsible, and continually strive to meet evolving consumer needs.
During an additional presentation, Peder Jacobson of Aquaculture Certification Council, Inc. discussed advancements in the certification of shrimp farms and processing plants, online traceability, and laboratory verification of product purity. In a related program, Michael Mok of Darden Restaurants outlined the Enhanced Seafood Safety Initiative, in which seafood would be "precertified" for potential expedited passage through inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Global Shrimp Outlook is an informative conference series organized by the Global Aquaculture Alliance. GAA is an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. It promotes best management practices for sustainable aquaculture through a bimonthly magazine, conference participation and other activities.