This article is from last week, but I’ve had it bookmarked because I really wanted to talk about it. It needed some thinking first though, some pondering. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
I stopped eating imported shrimp many years ago after reading one of the many books by Dr. Vandana Shiva in which she details how shrimp farms in India and Thailand are destroying the local ecosystems.
To operate effectively, shrimp farmers destroy mangrove swamps to create a flat, shallow area underwater – conditions in which shrimp thrive. This allows them to harvest the shrimp by trawling.
However, the mangrove swaps are home to many sea creatures whose habitats are destroyed and trawling is indiscriminate – anything in the way of the trawler – including thousands of sea turtles – gets scooped up.
The removal of the mangrove swamps also removes a layer of protection against tidal waves caused by tsunamis. It is widely believed that the Tsunami of 2004 would have done considerably less damage were it not for the shrimp farms that lined the coast of Thailand. Shrimp farms also cause seawater to leach into nearby groundwater, ruining other crops, such as rice.