Shrimp Farming Wreaks Eco-Destruction, Group Says

Shrimp farms are polluting land and oceans, destroying wetlands, and depleting wild fish stocks, wreaking environmental havoc on some of the world’s poorest countries, says the nonprofit Environmental Justice Foundation. The destruction is driven by a get-rich-quick attitude among farmers and aided and abetted by governments and development organizations, said the group. Shrimp farms are frequently located in cleared mangrove forests, and the farming involves a harsh cocktail of antibiotics, fertilizers, herbicides, and other chemicals that pollute wetlands and soil. The EJF report says governments and aid agencies use shrimp farming as a quick and easy way to spur development in poor countries — most of the 50 countries where the farms are located are developing — but they do not plan sufficiently to protect the environment.