The dirty business with the shrimps

Once a luxury commodity, now discounter goods: shrimps. They are tasty, low in fat and cost little. 56.000 tonnes of the crustaceans are consumed annually in Germany alone. Most of the shrimps come from Southeast Asia, especially from Thailand.

Meanwhile, environmentalists are sounding the alarm: the aquacultures of a gigantic shrimp industry have already destroyed large areas of Thailand’s mangrove forests. Intensive chemical use and untreated sewage are destabilising entire regions, they warn. But to which consequences has the mass production of shrimps actually led? The authors Michael Höft and Christian Jentzsch accompanied Greenpeace experts on a trip to Thailand with a camera team.

To blame the poor farmers in less developed countries for following unhealthy practices in raising shrimp is to misidentify the true culprits.These are the corporate importers in the developed world, their bought governments, and the corporate media which do nothing to educate the consuming public for the damage they cause to the environment and to their own health. Short of a revolution against corporatism, we are all doomed.