Seafood traceability partnership tackles mangrove restoration and better shrimp farming practices in Ecuador

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Seafood traceability technology enables buyers to support mangrove restoration and carbon reduction initiatives

Seafood traceability
Traceability technology enables seafood buyers to support mangrove restoration and carbon reduction initiatives in Ecuador. Photo by Rabiul Islam.

Conservation International and xpertSea, a leading aquaculture technology company, have announced a Climate Smart Shrimp pilot in Ecuador – an innovative solution to champion regenerative farming practices. The program facilitates lower-carbon farming practices while directly addressing the issue of mangrove deforestation.

xpertSea delivers rich verified data from the producer with Climate Smart Shrimp, including GDST (Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability) traceability and Scope 3 carbon emissions, enabling a powerful product narrative. Mangrove restoration is managed by Conservation International, ensuring the program fosters climate resilience and ecosystem benefits.

“This partnership with Conservation International offers seafood buyers a turn-key way to enable better farming practices, restore mangroves and help feed the world in a responsible way,” said Katie Sokalsky, CEO of xpertSea. “Now buyers can easily take action to create a more sustainable and resilient industry and get verified data on their improvements to feel confident about making consumer-facing commitments.”

The loss of over 50,000 hectares of mangroves in Ecuador since 1969, with 45 percent attributed to aquaculture, has raised concerns about the urgent need for habitat restoration. Despite new laws protecting mangroves, progress toward reforestation has been slow and farmers face limited access to capital for improvements, which makes it challenging to invest in regenerative systems.

Climate Smart Shrimp is Conservation International and xpertSea Responsible Shrimp’s response to these challenges. By joining this program, seafood buyers can direct their purchasing power to:

  • Support farmers: Unlock farmers’ access to financing for critical on-farm investments and the transition to climate-smart production.
  • Reduce carbon: Support the implementation of on-farm carbon improvements, lowering the industry’s overall footprint.
  • Restore mangroves: Catalyze direct investment in mangrove restoration efforts in Ecuador to enhance biodiversity, build climate resilience and protect critical habitats.

“Climate Smart Shrimp is an innovative approach that will catalyze measurable, sustainable change,” said Dane Klinger, Director of Aquaculture at Conservation International. “Our partnership with xpertSea enables seafood buyers to play an active role in mangrove restoration, carbon emission reduction and the promotion of responsible farming practices. This collaborative effort presents an exciting way to support both the environment and farmers.”

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