The Fake Shrimp

And I’m the shrimp,
The smallest of all,
They call me the shrimp
Because I’m not very tall.

Who knew that my theatrical claim to fame would be at the age of ten, singing a song about fish, and being photographed in a shrimp costume?

Our school, not having the money to pay for royalties for a more well-known Broadway-style musical, instead, for our annual play, performed a creation called Time Fog, a historical tour of the history of Nova Scotia, as written by the school’s music teacher. It dealt with the expulsion of the Acadians, the founding of the City of Halifax, and even Confederation. One scene explored Nova Scotia’s rich fishing heritage.

I didn’t play the Shrimp in the stage version, I was a mere extra, but the play had gotten such a huge amount of coverage in the local news that the school was asked to create a recording and slide presentation to send around to other schools. The kid who played Shrimp was sick on recording day, and being the first person in the line of sight of the music teacher (being able to fit into the shrimp costume didn’t hurt) I was the lucky gal who got to wander through the school to the set, trying to keep the other kids from pulling off my many legs.

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Is Something Fishy?

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.

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