Shrimp can come either from the wild or from farms, and can be caught with industrial or artisan techniques. The commercial shrimp vessels toss over the side of their boats large nets. While they are trawling, the net sweeps the ocean floor, catching tons of living species larger than three centimeters In many cases, over 90% of the catch dies before being tossed back into the water, the damage ranges from juvenile fish never able to reproduce, to helpless sea turtles that often drown tangled in the nets.
By contrast, the artisan communities of the Térraba Sierpe Wetland use handheld nets, which are much more selective and have less impact on the environment. The downside is that this activity is practiced clandestinely in areas designated for preservation.
Finally, the farms are the alternative that meets the demand without stressing the wild populations of shrimp. However, the amount of antibiotics and overpopulation, tend to create other problems such as pollution and deforestation of the mangroves.
My recommendation: Reduce the amount of shrimp you eat. It is an over-fished product, and it would be in our best interest to give it a break. Before consuming them, inquire about their origin, and if you can, avoid 100% the product coming from the commercial shrimping vessels since they are the result of a very destructive fishing technique.
INFO: Elena Vargas – RESERVA PLAYA TORTUGA – http://www.reservaplayatortuga.org/