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 in Fully Recirculating Systems, Thailand

Most imported farmed shrimp should be avoided due to habitat damage, the risk of pollution, disease and the introduction of non-native species to the surrounding environment. However, some farms in Thailand use fully recirculating ponds that reduce these risks. Shrimp from these farms is a "Good Alternative."

Consumer Note

For the most sustainable product, look for shrimp raised in fully recirculating 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 most popular and valuable seafood in the U.S. Most shrimp consumed in the U.S. is imported and Thailand is the single largest exporting country. All shrimp imported into the U.S. from Thailand is farmed.

In Thailand, large areas of coastal mangrove forests have been cleared to build shrimp farms. Mangroves are an important habitat for a diverse community of fish, invertebrates, plants and birds. The loss of this habitat has devastating impacts on local communities and the artisanal fisheries and foraged foods that these people rely on.

Mangrove destruction in Thailand is now illegal and, thanks to replanting efforts, these forests are now increasing. However, pollution released from shrimp farms remains a concern for these sensitive habitats, especially in areas with large numbers of shrimp farms .

Escapes are also a consideration as Thailand, like many other shrimp producing countries, now farms a non-native white shrimp instead of the native tiger shrimp. The potential impact of escaped white shrimp is still being studied.

About 75 percent of shrimp farms in Thailand are not fully recirculating. They release water and waste products from the ponds into the environment as the shrimp is being raised or, in the best case, just once when the shrimp is harvested. Concerns about pollution, disease and the escape of non-native shrimp result in an "Avoid" recommendation.

The remaining 25 percent are fully recirculating farms, which treat and reuse water for multiple crops of shrimp without releasing it to the environment. These practices not only reduce pollution, but also decrease escapes of non-native shrimp and the spread of disease. For these reasons, Thai shrimp farmed in recirculating systems are a "Good Alternative".

Consumers should "Avoid" farmed shrimp from Thailand unless they can be certain that the shrimp are from farms using fully recirculating systems. Thai shrimp from fully recirculating farms is a "Good Alternative."


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