How not to create a shrimp standard — Where the ASC went wrong.

The tremors and aftershocks of tropical aquaculture can be felt across the social, economic, environmental and cultural web of life—human rights, consumer rights, indigenous peoples rights, land and water use, agriculture, environmental law and conservation, labour rights, marine and coastal ecology, soil science, social science and traditional fisheries.

Simply put—one cannot describe the impacts of aquaculture in a sentence.

In the early 1980s consumers were told that eating certified farmed tropical shrimp “helps develop local economies by bringing in much needed export-led profits.” This was not true; the economic consequences of destroying mangroves and building shrimp farms are quite clear now—it is better to create sustainable, diverse, small-scale economies than to grow shrimp for export.

The environmental and consequences are clear too—island and coastal communities that had conserved their mangrove forests escaped the destruction of the tsunami in 2004—the mangroves absorbed the impact of the tidal waves. Islands that had destroyed their mangroves did not survive.

Ten years later, today, consumers are being re-told the same old story—eating “certified” shrimp will help small-scale farmers earn a livelhood. That it is now possible to enjoy tropical shrimp without being racked by the guilt of destroying the environment.

The same old story is appropriate to the same old falsehood: “certified” or “labeled” shrimp today is exactly the same as the shrimp that was sold to you ten years ago.

ASIA was invited by the Stockholm Society of Nature Conservation to present research findings from data collected over the past ten years on the subject of shrimp aquaculture.

View the presentation here: Pres–SSNC–HNTCS–ForDistributionandReview

Presentation notes: SSNC-HNTCS–PresentationNotes(Edited–GH, AKT)

Consumers’ Guide to Shrimp Certification, 3rd Edition: Consumers Guide to Shrimp Certification–V4A-Review