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NMa is positive towards Dutch shrimp-fishing industry's plans to make shrimp-fishing sustainable

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) is positive towards the plans the Dutch shrimp-fishing industry has put forward on how to make shrimp-fishing sustainable. The NMa approves most of the plans, drawn up by Dutch producer organization Garnaal and the Dutch Fishing Association. It believes that sustainability and competition can definitely go hand in hand, but, at the same time, the NMa cannot approve the proposals on catch limits aimed at protecting the Brown-shrimp population.

'And that is where the shoe pinches,' says Henk Don, acting chairman of the Board of the NMa. 'There is no need for such limits, as studies have revealed that the Brown-shrimp population is not in danger at the moment. That means that the proposed catch limits would go beyond what is necessary. In fact, it would lead to a reduced supply of Brown shrimps, thereby affecting the price of shrimp.'

The NMa has come up with an alternative solution to protect the Brown-shrimp population against potential future overfishing. The NMa proposes to have carry out a study into the Brown-shrimp population within a certain period of time. Depending on that study's results, a control system can be set up, one that is well founded, does not go beyond what is necessary, and from which everyone benefits. The shrimp-fishing industry has already informed the NMa that they do not support the NMa's proposal. The NMa cannot make an exception to the prohibition of cartels for the catch limits as currently outlined in the plans. By way of an informal opinion, the NMa has informed the producer organizations involved that the Dutch Competition Act does not allow any measures that would limit shrimp catches.