Klerifying Fact: Americans eat 4 pounds of shrimp every year- it’s our favorite seafood that is sadly often produced with slave labor!
We eat shrimp in all sorts of ways. Remember that scene from Forest Gump where Bubba tells Forest how many different ways you can cook shrimp? If not, here’s a reminder: https://goo.gl/YtkjdQ
We at Klerify enjoy shrimp prepared in many ways, and like all products certified sustainable; slave labor free.
The delicious taste of shrimp cane come hide a dark secret...
Where do shrimp come from?
92% of all shrimp we eat is imported. The rest is harvested off the coasts of the good old USA.
Before we get into the heavy stuff on slave labor, first we’ll let you know how shrimp is farmed and harvested.
There are two ways shrimp to get shrimp from the water to your plate:
Aquaculture shrimp is grown on a farm and accounts for 55% of total shrimp production. Traditionally, shrimp farms have been small scale operations producing a few hundred pounds per acre. Now, thanks to modern technology, they can produce over 80,000 pounds per acre! That’s a lot of shrimp… This efficient operation comes at a cost, with shrimp farms often established by replacing important ecosystems called mangrove forests that serve as habitat for fish to breed, sequester carbon, and protect the land from storm surges. Shrimp farms are not small (see pic on the right).
Wild harvested shrimp is harvested from the bottom of the ocean by a fleet of boats. Much of the wild caught shrimp in the USA comes from the Gulf of Mexico, where the industry employs 15,000 people and $1.3 billion in Louisiana where most shrimping boats are based. The wild harvest is increasingly limited by water pollution from agriculture draining into the Mississippi River. This creates dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico where shrimp can’t live. These types of impacts limit the potential for domestically harvested shrimp. Louisiana shrimp boats are increasingly harvesting shrimp in a sustainable manner with reduced by-catch.
Slavery can be found especially in Asian aquaculture and wild harvested shrimp supply chains.
How is there slavery in our shrimp?
As crazy as it sounds, slavery is alive and well in the highly profitable, multi-billion dollar shrimp industry. 34% of our shrimp imports come from places that are known to have slave or forced labor in shrimp production and processing. Numerous investigations found slavery occurring in the Thai, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Burma/Myanmar shrimp industries. These industries export to the USA for you to unwittingly support slave labor.
Laborers are lured into working on shrimp farms, shrimp boats, and factories where their rights are violates and there is little regard for their lives. When they are disobedient, they can find themselves locked in cages. Many are unable to leave with their passports taken from them or wages withheld. These are typically migrant workers and even children who work 16 hour days harvesting and peeling shrimp. The migrant laborers are either fleeing ethnic violence or seeking a better life from places like Myanmar and Cambodia. This slave labor helps to make shrimp so inexpensive from the largest exporter of shrimp and shrimp products in the world.
Imagine your kids and relatives in slavery to produce a shrimp cocktail or to put in a salad/taco.
Whose up for adding uncertified shrimp to your next meal, now?
Look for Northern Shrimp like this huge pile that is also MSC certified giving it that sweet, ethical aftertaste.
How can we have slave free shrimp?
You can buy the convenience of shell-less shrimp, sadly getting it without the slave labor requires more effort...
Both aquaculture and wild harvested shrimp have social and environmental impacts, and slavery can occur in both. It’s important to buy certified sustainable shrimp without slave labor. Look for the ASC label for aquaculture and MSC for wild harvested.
Make a Big Impact with your Small Purchase with the following shrimp purchasing guide. We even include links to buy the good stuff online!
😃 Green Brands : Wild Selections Canned Shrimp, Whole Foods Oregon Shrimp, Aldi Sea Queen Shrimp
😡 Red Brands: (Tweet and Facebook to demand slave free shrimp certified to ASC or MSC): Costco, Wal-Mart, Kroger/Mariano’s, and Target.
We did not make this stuff up!: