Field Day 8: Shrimp. Are you sure you want to eat that? [PHOTOS]

_MG_6878

For anyone whose been following CAT in WATER, you’ve probably heard us talk about shrimp farming before. Thai shrimp constitutes the single largest import of shrimp to U.S. markets (more than 35%). So if you’ve got shrimp in your freezer, there’s a pretty good chance it comes from Thailand. Shrimp farming is also the number one thing impacting the fishing cat. Industrial scale farms have taken over much of the fishing cat’s habitat, coastal mangrove forest, and smaller sustainable shrimp farms in the area. Farming shrimp on this scale is a messy business, literally. (See below.)

_MG_6773

When it’s time to harvest, massive ponds — each larger than an Olympic-sized swimming pool — dump their slurry untreated into the surrounding wetland, also flooding surrounding private land and roads. This water originally comes from the wetland, and is then filled with chemicals, such as antibiotics.

I got to spend a little time with some workers as they harvested shrimp from a large farm in Sam Roi Yod. They were incredibly friendly and welcoming. The crew lead, named Tuk, liked to refer to everybody as “Hey you!” And was quite the joker, hamming it up for the camera, and at one point trying to convince me to exchange boots with him (no that is not a euphemism for something else). 

_MG_6910 _MG_6895

It’s worth noting, that these folks are just doing their job. Though I don’t like the extent of the farming that’s going on, or the techniques used, it’s important to me to separate the forces driving development from those trying to make a living at a difficult, manual labor job.  Only through demand for better environmental practices can we hope to change how we get our shrimp, for the good of the fishing cat, and for the good of our health.

_MG_6939 _MG_6868 _MG_6917 _MG_6935

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers

%d bloggers like this: