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NOAA seeks public comment on shrimp SIMP program

Shrimp has been granted a stay from SIMP until the end of this year.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries said Wednesday it's accepting public comments on a proposed rule to establish a first-ever traceability program for US farmed shrimp.

The rule would require comparable reporting requirements to those required for imported seafood products under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).

SIMP took effect earlier this year for a number of imported species, but shrimp and abalone were granted a stay from complying with the new law, in part because of the complexity of the global shrimp trade.

The government has until the end of the year to develop a traceability program under SIMP for shrimp and abalone.

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NOAA says the measure will level the playing field for US fishermen, aquaculture producers, and seafood producers who play by the rules.

Congress has directed the Secretary of Commerce to establish this domestic traceability program by December 31. Comments are due by November 26.

The National Fisheries Institute along with Trident Seafoods, Pacific Seafood, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Handy Seafood have vocally opposed the program, calling the new regulations unnecessary.

NOAA will hold two webinars about the proposed regulation on October 24 at 3 pm ET and November 5 at 10 am ET.

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