Frozen Argentinean shrimp on board a fishing vessel. (Photo: Ignacio Bayley Bustamante)
Farmers intend to block Argentinean shrimp
Friday, June 15, 2012, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
The Brazilian Association of Shrimp Breeders (ABCC) announced that they will go to court to prevent shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri) from Argentina from entering the country.
As part of the 9th edition of the National Shrimp Fair (Fenacam), which ends today in Natal, ABCC President, Itamar Rocha, said that such import is not necessary because Brazil has "stored shrimp."
In addition, the leader stressed that foreign shrimp should be thoroughly analysed before entering the domestic market to "preserve the Brazilian biodiversity," Tribuna do Norte reported.
"A committee of national and foreign specialists appointed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA) should analyse the products," Rocha pointed out.
"Importing shrimp without carefully analysing the risks would be irresponsible," he stressed, because "dozens of diseases" would also be imported
Brazil stopped importing shrimp in 1999. All shipments that intend to be brought into the country must go through an import risk analysis (IRA), which identifies the risks of the operation from the point of view of sanitary conditions.
ABCC President explained that they decided to present the case in Court after the action taken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and the Ministry of Foreign and Domestic Commerce from Argentina in order to resume exporting Argentinean shrimp to the Brazilian market from 1 July, 2012.
"Undoubtedly, it is big news for our industry but we want it to be extended to other domestic products," the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the country, Norberto Yauhar stressed.
On the other hand, Miguel Bustamante, Argentinean Undersecretary of Fisheries, stated: "The natural or wild shrimp, which is the one Argentina has, is clearly distinguishable from other farmed shrimp such as the Brazilian vannamei one. Therefore, the opening of this market is performed for a consumer niche of excellence or of high quality that is important given the annual catches our country has been recording."
For Rocha, the analysis -- which includes the assessment, management and communication of risks to the community, health authorities and researchers -- for Brazil to be able to import shrimp or any aquatic animal, can last "10, 15 or 20 years."
That time does not make the entry of Argentinean shrimp into Brazil viable as it has been agreed by both South American governments.
By Analia Murias