The Beacon

Blog Tags: Shrimp

Every Shrimp Has a Tale

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

October is National Seafood Month, and to celebrate this event, seafood lovers may be getting ready to partake in their favorite dishes. But how does the average consumer know where their seafood was caught? Can they be sure what they are eating is what is on the label or menu?


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Bien Hecho! Costa Rica Bans Shrimp Trawl Nets

This image shows how trawl nets effectively "bulldoze" the sea floor, destroying centuries' old coral formations and catching anything in their path. 

We are excited to share some great news out of our international offices – Costa Rica has banned the use of trawl nets to catch shrimp throughout the country! Trawl nets destroy our oceans -- ripping up the seafloor, razing coral reefs, and catching huge amounts of marine creatures as bycatch – so this ruling is a major victory for our oceans. It’s estimated that 871,000 tons of bony fishes, sharks, and rays were caught in Costa Rica as incidental bycatch of shrimp trawling between 1950 and 2008.


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Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless's New Book, The Perfect Protein, Released Today!

The Perfect Protein Trailer from Oceana on Vimeo.

We're thrilled to announce that today is the launch of Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless's new book, The Perfect Protein! As the CEO of Oceana, Andy is dedicated to the protection of our world’s oceans. Over the years, however, he realized that the work Oceana does to save the world’s oceans was not just helping to preserve the oceans’ biodiversity; it was also resulting in more food for people. In other words, it’s a win-win: When we adopt practices that conserve and protect our oceans and the creatures in it, we also create stocks of healthy, nutritious protein for the people of our world.


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A Carbon Footprint that Isn’t Shrimpy

shrimp cocktail

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

According to new estimates, farmed shrimp from Asia may have one of the highest carbon footprints of any food.

More than half of all shrimp farms are located in Asia, primarily in areas that used to be mangrove forests. Mangroves are trees that grow in salt water, and they are important for marine ecosystems because they provide nutrients and shelter for many fish, turtle, and wading bird species. Mangrove forests are also important because they serve as a carbon sink, removing and storing more than 1,000 pounds of CO2) per acre each year.

But around the world, mangrove forests are being cut down to build shrimp farms. These farms are also often short-lived. The intensive farming methods pollute the environment, and disease spreads easily among the shrimp, which means that shrimp farmers must frequently clear new areas to stay in business.


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Oceana’s Fall Mag: Sea Turtles, Diane Lane and More

oceana fall magazine

The latest issue of Oceana magazine is now available, and it’s pretty juicy, we’re not gonna lie. In addition to our latest victories and events, here are some of the highlights:

  • Q&A with Diane Lane:  The actress talks about her love for the oceans – and the smell of the East River.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


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Unsustainable Seafood Dinner Makes a Splash

While some of you may be sticking to New Year’s resolutions to make sustainable seafood choices in 2011, not everyone is following suit.

Namely, Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz, who is hosting a dinner later this month with the New England Culinary Guild featuring what he calls “blacklisted” seafood, such as black tiger shrimp, Atlantic cod and Atlantic hake, which are all on the Monterey Bay Aquarium guide’s “avoid” list.

This provocative stab at sustainable seafood designations has taken some heat, not surprisingly. Jacqueline Church and Miriam at Deep Sea News both did some digging into the company’s claims and the science that Legal is trumpeting as “outdated.”


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A 'Category 10' Disaster

Last week I met Cherie Pete, who operates a mom-and-pop style sandwich shop called Maw’s in the marshy lowlands of Boothville, LA – about two hours south of New Orleans.

Normally recreational fishermen stop by her shop to fuel up before deep-sea fishing trips in the Gulf. But with fishing restricted in most federal waters off the coast of southern Louisiana, Pete’s clientele base has disappeared.

“Normally we’d be swamped at this time,” she told me. Instead, the shopfront was nearly empty with only a few customers trickling by to purchase a cool drink in the 100-degree heat (including Brian Williams of NBC News who made a stopover with his camera crew.)


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Bills, Boat Payments Pile Up for Louisiana Fishermen

Image courtesy Emily Peterson.

We received the following dispatch from Carter Lavin, an Oceana supporter, environmental activist and energy-issue blogger, about his experience volunteering in the gulf. You can read more from him here.

Two weeks ago I had this idea that I would fly down to New Orleans and sign up to help clean up oil from the beaches of southern Louisiana. I would then catch one of the dozens of buses that were going from Jackson Square to the beaches for the clean up along with hundreds of other volunteers. We would spend the whole day there, clean up the beach, rescue a pelican or two and then head home.

I learned a few things about the clean up effort rather quickly. I learned that southern Louisiana does not really have beaches to clean; it’s nearly all marshlands. This means most clean up efforts have to be done from a boat, or the places are only boat accessible. Plus, you need to be certified to clean up hazardous materials, which requires 40 hours of training.


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Factsheet: The Gulf Spill’s Effect on Fisheries

To read more, click here for the PDF factsheet.

The federal government has closed commercial and recreational fishing in a wide swath of the Gulf as a result of the oil spill, which is a serious economic blow to the region.


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Gulf Fishermen Brace for the Worst

shrimp boat

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The gulf oil spill is proving to be not just an ecological disaster, but an economic one, too.

On Sunday the federal government closed commercial and recreational fishing from Louisiana to parts of the Florida Panhandle, and oil continues to gush unabated from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

The fishing ban extends between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida's Pensacola Bay.

That’s a significant blow to the economy of the region. The Gulf Coast is home to the second largest seafood industry in the country after Alaska.

The annual commercial seafood harvest in the gulf adds up to $661 million, and recreational fishing contributes $757 million and nearly 8,000 jobs, according to the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. The group estimates that $1.6 billion in annual economic activity is tied to the wetlands directly exposed to the spill.

So now fishermen are doing the only thing they can -- gritting their teeth and helping to clean up the oil that is putting their livelihoods at risk.

Tell your Senators to protect the livelihoods of fishermen around the country from expanded offshore drilling.


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