It’s National Shrimp Day according to the National Fisheries Institute and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Having just finished our first test screening of Raising Shrimp we have certainly had shrimp on the brain.
Shrimp are one of the most consumed seafood in the world, but they are unfortunately not always from sustainable sources. 90% of the shrimp we consume are from farms in Asia, and most of them do not have good farming practices.
So what about the remaining 10%? We did our research and were thrilled to find sources of shrimp we would be willing to try. Here is a list of sustainable shrimp farms that we have found:
Marvesta uses indoor farms housed on about 32 acres on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Using a completely recirculating system, they produce 130,000 lbs. of fresh shrimp per year, completely hormone and antibiotic free. Marvesta’s hatched shrimp larvae come from Florida. After five months, they harvest and ship to restaurants and customers from California to New York.
Natural Shrimp raise Pacific white shrimp in San Antonio, Texas year-round in environmentally-controlled enclosed systems without the use of antibiotics, pollutants and other chemicals. They have partnered with a European firm to also produce shrimp in Medina del Campo, Spain. Natural Shrimp project to be able to produce 6,000 pounds of shrimp (size 18-22, meaning that many are found in one pound) per week at full capacity in one site alone.
3- RDM Shrimp
RDM Shrimp are based in Benton County Indiana but have 19 farms in 8 states across the US. They raise their shrimp completely hormone-free and antibiotic-free in recirculating systems. They encourage others to join in and help start up new farms from the ground up. Would you like to raise sustainable shrimp?
And what about wild shrimp?
Although NOAA has reported the Atlantic Pink Shrimp stock has been restored from previously overfished numbers, bottom trawling can still be an issue with catching shrimp in the wild.
The Seafood Watch program only gives a best choice status to Oregon wild pink shrimp because of their trawl configuration that minimize bycatch Oregon’s shrimpers landed 49.1 million pounds of shrimp last year, the second most ever. More than 60 vessels longer than 65 feet participated in the Oregon pink shrimp fishery season, which runs between April 1 and Oct. 31.
Another alternative to wild shrimp is the spot prawn, which is grown in British Columbia and down the Pacific Coast of the US. It is a best choice because spotted prawns are caught in traps instead of nets, so they are much more selective and reduce bycatch. There is some concern about damaging the bottom, however, by dragging the traps through wave action and when they are being hauled up.
Have you ever eaten sustainably sourced shrimp? tell us about it in the comments below!
Images from Wiki Commons, Marvesta, Natural Shrimp and RDM Shrimp.