03 Jan '12, 6pm
Is your all-you-can-eat shrimp killing the mangroves?
Shrimp is a tasty and desirable seafood. By farming it in the developing world, where land and labor are cheap, it can be imported to developed countries at a price that makes it affordable to the majority of people. That's why shrimp has displaced tuna as the No. 1 seafood consumed in the United States. For the countries where it is farmed, the west's consumption of shrimp is a rich source of foreign exchange. So with shrimp two types of hunger are involved: the hunger of western palates for a luxury seafood at an affordable price, and the hunger of developing countries for export earnings. The fact that these two hungers drive the people who traditionally rely on mangroves to literal, physical hunger (through being displaced from mangrove lands) doesn't figure in the equation.