Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Shrimp

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SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Prawn, Freshwater Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Giant River & Malaysian Prawn U.S. Farmed
Prawn, Spot Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Prawn, Spot Shrimp, Amaebi U.S. Pacific Wild
Prawn, Spot Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Prawn, Spot Shrimp, Amaebi Canadian Pacific Wild
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Pacific White & West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi Thailand Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems
Shrimp Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Pacific White & West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi Mexico Farmed in Open Systems
Shrimp Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Black Tiger & White Shrimp, Tiger Prawn, Ebi Imported Farmed in Open Systems
Shrimp Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Pacific White & West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi U.S. Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems or Inland Ponds
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Pacific White & West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi U.S. Farmed in Open Systems
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Brown, Pink, Rock, Royal Red, Seabob & White Shrimp, Ebi U.S. Gulf of Mexico except Louisiana, U.S. South Atlantic Otter Trawl
Shrimp Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Brown, Pink, Seabob & White Shrimp, Ebi U.S. Gulf of Mexico Skimmer Trawl
Shrimp Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Blue, Brown, Pink, Seabob & White Shrimp, Ebi Mexico Wild
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Ebi, Prawn, Shrimp Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Black Tiger & White Shrimp, Tiger Prawn, Ebi Aquaculture Stewardship Council Certified Farmed
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Black Tiger & White Shrimp, Tiger Prawn, Ebi Naturland Certified Farmed
Shrimp Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Black Tiger & White Shrimp, Tiger Prawn, Ebi Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP Certified Farmed
Shrimp, Black Tiger Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Tiger shrimp Southeast Asia Farmed, Selva Shrimp (R) Verified Farms
Shrimp, Louisiana Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Brown, Pink, Seabob & White Shrimp, Ebi Louisiana Wild
Shrimp, Northern Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Bay, Cocktail & Salad Shrimp, Ebi U.S., Canadian Atlantic Wild
Shrimp, Pink Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Bay, Cocktail, Ocean & Salad Shrimp, Ebi Oregon Wild


Shrimp, Farmed, U.S.

Shrimp from U.S. farms are produced under strict environmental laws, making them a better choice than imported farmed shrimp. However, all U.S. farms are not equal.

While most U.S. farmed shrimp are a "Good Alternative," a small percentage is rated as a "Best Choice." These farms have further reduced their impact on the environment by raising shrimp in fully recirculating systems or inland ponds, away from sensitive coastal habitats.

Consumer Note

For the most sustainable product, look for shrimp raised in fully recirculating systems or from farms located inland using tanks or ponds. The terms "shrimp" and "prawn" may be used interchangeably. Shrimp is known as ebi when prepared for sushi.

Summary

Shrimp is the world's most valuable seafood and the most popular among U.S. consumers. Almost half of the shrimp consumed worldwide is farmed, with the majority from Asia and Latin America. The U.S. produces less than 1% of shrimp consumed by Americans.

All large-scale farms require wild fish to feed the shrimp. U.S. farmed shrimp require 1.35 pounds of wild fish per pound of shrimp produced. The larger the shrimp, the more wild fish feed is required for it to grow.

Pollution, disease and escapes from shrimp farms are all concerns, but U.S. shrimp farmers have begun to address these problems. Farms that use fully recirculating systems and those located away from the coast don't release effluent into sensitive ocean habitats. By treating and recycling the water or using it for agriculture, these farms reduce pollution and lower the risk of escapes and disease transfer to wild stocks.

Unfortunately, the majority (87%) of shrimp farms are located in or near coastal waters and openly release effluent. This can impact natural habitat and increase the risk that the shrimp, and any disease they carry, may escape and impact wild populations.

Look for shrimp or prawns raised in fully recirculating systems or inland ponds as a "Best Choice." If you can't confirm this, assume the shrimp is farmed in an open system and is a "Good Alternative."

U.S. farmed shrimp is also a much better alternative for consumers concerned about the bycatch of seahorses, sea turtles, fish and invertebrates that occurs in warmwater shrimp fisheries.


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat