BeBiodiversity logo

MENU
BeBiodiversity Shrimp at will : doom for biodiversity

Shrimp at will : doom for biodiversity

Shrimp, scampi or prawns have long been rare, refined and expensive. But nowadays, their consumption has skyrocketed; in the world, it is estimated that by 2023, about 6 million tons of shrimp per year will be consumed! In the last 20 years, the production has been multiplied by 9. A boom that severely damages biodiversity.

Shrimp is the product of the sea that travels the most in terms of kilometers before reaching our plates. They mostly come from China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador or even Bangladesh. Over half of the shrimp we consume come from aquaculture, the rest is fished at sea. Two types of production that each have their own impact on biodiversity.

As for many other products of the sea, shrimp are victims of overfishing. According to the WWF, only a few zones located in Australia and Mexico use fishing methods that respect the threshold of renewal of the species. Shrimp trawling is the type of fishing that generates the most bycatch: up to ten kilos of fish, turtles and other catches for only one kilo of shrimp in tropical zones. The nets scrape the seabed, and bring about huge damage on the ecosystems of the seafloor.

BeBiodiversity Shrimp at will : doom for biodiversity

The damages caused by shrimp farming are also multiple. Farms are located on the seashore and can lead to destruction of rich ecosystems: estuaries, salt marshes, swamps or mangroves. These ecosystems also play a vital role for the terrestrial and marine fauna alike: they are essential zones of reproduction, feeding and migration for several species of fish, crustaceans and birds. If shrimp production isn’t the only cause, we estimate that it is an important factor of disappearance of mangroves. The FAO estimates that there has been a worldwide loss of 26% of mangrove surface area since 1980. For South America, this rate is about 50% and for Singapore over 80%!

Shrimp aquaculture is also a source of pollution of the marine sector and the surrounding groundwaters. Finally, the density of population of farmed shrimp and their weak genetics promote the spread of diseases, including towards wild crustaceans.

A sad truth when you’re a gourmet. It is preferable to limit your consumption of shrimp, small or big. It must remain an exceptional dish. Prioritize shrimp labeled by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and MSC, and savor local seafood during an escapade to the seashore, wherever it be in the world.

BeBiodiversity Shrimp at will : doom for biodiversity
Rows and rows of artificial pools for shrimp aquaculture in one of the biggest farms, along the Gulf of California,Mexico. By Planet Labs, Inc. [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Other news

BeBiodiversity Biodiversity, victim of fast fashion!

Biodiversity, victim of fast fashion!

The world of fashion, with its big names, its catwalks and its designers, is still a dream. This sector remains associated with seduction, beauty and creativity. And yet, the other side of the picture is gloomier. The industry is increasingly criticised for its environmental impacts and unacceptable working conditions. Overconsumption and large-scale pollution make the textile sector one of the most polluting in the world.

Read more
BeBiodiversity Save biodiversity by eating better

Save biodiversity by eating better

Our food choices have significant effects on biodiversity and ecosystems, but also on our health. Among other things, intensive meat production is responsible for the destruction of many ecosystems around the world and excessive meat consumption is a source of various diseases. Yet demand is growing on an increasingly populated planet with limited natural resources. As individuals, do we have a role to play in mitigating this trend in a globalised world? The answer is yes!

Read more
BeBiodiversity A very meaty diet: what consequences for biodiversity?

A very meaty diet: what consequences for biodiversity?

Did you know that, in the European Union, the food industry is the main cause of environmental damage, followed by housing and mobility?[1] Although many consumers are aware of this, we tend to underestimate the effects of our eating habits on the environment.[2] While this is not good news, it does mean that our choices can make a real difference. But can we really protect biodiversity at mealtimes?

Read more
BeBiodiversity Unravelling the link between trafficking in sea turtles and plastic pollution

Unravelling the link between trafficking in sea turtles and plastic pollution

Every year thousands of turtles return to their birthplace on the beaches of the South Pacific to lay their eggs. These include the Olive Ridley, Pacific Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles. While their grace, agility and speed delight and surprise at sea, on the beaches they are slow and vulnerable. Some species take 20 years to reach their reproductive age.

Read more
BeBiodiversity A Happy New Year 2019 focused on biodiversity!

A Happy New Year 2019 focused on biodiversity!

Is the year-end holiday season behind you? No more crazy shopping for gifts, no more hearty meals… until next year!  As this period is behind us, let’s now take the time to ask ourselves what a celebration such as Christmas represents in terms of impact on biodiversity. And most importantly, what can we do to reduce our footprint during the holidays, whatever they may be?

Read more
BeBiodiversity Staying fashionable and respecting biodiversity

Staying fashionable and respecting biodiversity

The sales have arrived! The shelves are packed with bargains and everyone wants a new outfit. But what about the impact of fast fashion on biodiversity? Here we explained how textile production presents a threat to a large number of species. The good news is that you can remain fashionable without causing them too much harm.

Read more
Discover all our news Discover all our news