Horrifying Environmental Impact of non-Gulf Shrimp

(NaturalNews) Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States, with the average resident consuming 4.1 pounds per year. But this food comes at a serious cost for the planet and for human health, warns Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.

“Unfortunately much of the shrimp we eat are a cocktail of chemicals, harvested at the expense of one of the world’s productive ecosystems,” Richardson writes on Alternet.org. “Worse, guidelines for finding some kind of ‘sustainable shrimp’ are so far nonexistent.”

Like all seafood, shrimp are wild animals, and many are still caught in the wild. Nearly all shrimp fishing in the world, however, is performed with the highly destructive technique known as trawling: Fishermen attach weighted nets the size of football fields to their boats, then drag them along the ocean floor scooping up all life in their path.

This method produces pounds of so-called “bycatch” for every pound of shrimp caught, killing non-commercial (and often endangered) species such as sharks, rays, sea turtles and juvenile red snapper in massive numbers. In fact, although only 2 percent of the world’s fish catch is composed of shrimp, one-third of its bycatch comes from shrimp fishing.

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