ARLINGTON, Va. -- A new organization dedicated to the promotion of shrimp harvesting has been formed, according to the National Fisheries Institute here.
The Shrimp Council was officially organized under that name last month, although efforts have been underway on behalf of the shrimp industry since the beginning of this year, said NFI spokeswoman Clare Vanderbeek.
"We've actually already started mailings to retailers on specific issues, such as shrimp interaction with turtles, the use of aquaculture production and impact on environment," she told SN.
The issue of the threat to turtles by shrimping, which recently prompted bans on the importation of shrimp from countries whose shrimp is not "turtle-safe," is one the Shrimp Council is eager to clarify to retailers and other customers.
"Basically shrimp consumed in the United States is turtle-safe and retailers do not need to be concerned because there are certain stringent regulations in place," said Vanderbeek.
The council will also raise funds for research and to promote responsible shrimp-production methods and related projects, and to support educational events.
At this point there are no specific plans for a national shrimp promotion at the retail level, according to Vanderbeek.
"There will probably be more willingness in the future to expand the council to include retailers," she added.