Orion Magazine always has thoughtful articles on the connection between the environment and social and political issues. This month’s issue features a story on the problem with shrimp. “All You Can Eat” gives you a taste of shrimping, shrimp farming, and why shrimp – in nearly all cases – is not a sustainable choice for the health of the ocean nor for human society. If nothing else, read the last page of the article, especially the last few paragraphs, for a glimpse of how bad it is and how much is at stake in human and ecosystem terms.
Much of the world’s shrimp fishing industry is extremely wasteful, with an average of more than five pounds of bycatch killed and discarded “less valuable” sea creatures – for every pound of shrimp brought to port. And shrimp farming typically relies on unsustainable industrial practices with significant ecosystem and human costs.
As the article states, unless you live within about 100 miles of the coast, the shrimp in scampi, cocktails, or the all-you-can-eat platters are coming from overseas industrial shrimp farms. There are also huge carbon costs associated with transporting seafood around the world. If you need a “shrimp fix,” try to make it a special treat, choose responsibly, and savor every sweet shrimp morsel!
Whether you eat seafood or not, find more info on how you can consume consciously and help our ocean in the process.