Trader Joeś traditional taco shrimp. (Photo: Stock File)
Trader Joe's to stop buying Mexican shrimp
Friday, October 13, 2017, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
Grocery store chain Trader Joe’s, located in Monrovia, California, has declared it will stop buying shrimp from Mexico amid the pressure exercised by the Boycott Mexican Shrimp campaign launched earlier this year by more than 45 organizations.
The store chain’s declaration comes as Mexican authorities prepare to capture some of the fewer than 30 remaining vaquita in the Upper Gulf of California before all are lost to entanglement in shrimp fishing gear.
The boycott -- supported by Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council, among others -- aims to conserve the vaquita by convincing Mexican officials to permanently ban all gillnet fishing, remove illegal nets from the water, and significantly increase enforcement efforts to save the species from extinction.
“We are grateful that Trader Joe’s has listened to the tens of thousands of people who spoke out in support of our campaign’s efforts to save the vaquita,” said Kate O’Connell, marine animal consultant at the Animal Welfare Institute. “We hope that the Mexican government will take note of this decision and realize that US consumers want nothing less than a total ban on all vaquita-deadly fishing gear.”
“Trader Joe’s knows American shoppers don’t support the reckless fishing practices that have nearly wiped out Mexico’s beautiful little porpoise,” said Tanya Sanerib, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Sanerib pointed out that other companies like Amazon need to stop selling vaquita-killing shrimp from Mexico.
The organisations promoting the campaign state that the government of Mexico announced in June that it was implementing a partial ban on gillnet fishing in the Upper Gulf of California. That ban, however, falls short of what experts have said is needed to save the imperiled porpoise.
“For far too long, Mexico has neglected the one necessary change for the vaquita’s survival: a 100 percent gillnet-free habitat,” said Zak Smith, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project.
Smith explained that with fewer than 30 vaquita left in the world, the time for half-hearted measures is over and is convinced that unless the Mexican government can finally ensure a gillnet-free Upper Gulf of Mexico, the extinction of vaquita is guaranteed.