fresh shrimp

A New Report Sheds Light on the Problems Behind Our Imported Shrimp

March 27, 2024 | Source: FoodPrint | by Hannah Walhout

Thailand has long been the face of the shrimp industry’s troubled track record. A series of investigations between 2014 and 2015, including bombshell reporting from The Guardian and The Associated Press, revealed that slavery and other labor abuses were widespread in processing facilities and fishing operations that provided feed to shrimp farms, leading governments to issue warnings and many companies to end relationships with Thai suppliers. As the Thai industry’s reputation was ravaged by these allegations, and poor overall aquaculture practices put its shrimp stocks under constant threat of disease, the country made a pledge to clean up its human rights performance — and its shrimp farms.

Shrimp is by far the most popular seafood in the U.S., and the U.S. is the largest shrimp importer in the world; more than 90 percent of the shrimp we eat is farmed overseas. So when costs of Thai farmed seafood inevitably went up, the U.S. began looking elsewhere to satisfy its demand for cheap product.