Honduras' shrimp industry is being decimated by a US embargo due to concerns over sea turtles.

The Honduran government is estimating that the embargo - which went into effect in March - will cost its national fishermen up to US$58m. The embargo was introduced following petitions by environmentalists claiming many of the 93 Honduran boats in the Caribbean use nets snaring turtles as by-catches.

Both governments are seeking a solution to resolve the problem of the capture of adult turtles, including education of boat captains and expanded use and acquisition of specialised equipment, such as turtle excluder devices, mandatory on all US shrimp nets.

Honduras supplied between about 20 million pounds of shrimp to the US market in 1996, among its largest suppliers.