When it comes to making a conscious effort to purchase ethical, sustainable seafood, it can be tricky to navigate the murky waters of “sustainablility”.
It’s no news that climate change has already drastically impacted our oceans. For an ecosystem that covers a whopping 70% of our planet’s surface, we are pushing it to its limits when it comes to what it can absorb.
Rising ocean temperatures, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels — all of these symptoms of climate change are jeopardizing our oceans and the creatures that live in them.
Business as usual just simply doesn’t cut it anymore. We cannot ignore what is happening to our planet and we are the only ones capable of making change.
And speaking of change, innovative businesses like Planet Shrimp are doing just that! Planet Shrimp shows how we can implement smarter, sustainable seafood practices while still consuming the foods we love.
Check out our producer profile for Planet Shrimp to browse all their products available for order through 100km Foods!
The State of Shrimp
The vast majority of the seafood North Americans consume is imported. In fact, North Americans consume 1.8 billion pounds of shrimp annually, and 90% of this is from imports.
Pacific White Shrimp are the most widely consumed shrimp globally and is the same species Planet Shrimp grows. However, it is their indoor farm and production process that really set them apart.
Mainstream Shrimp Production
Mainstream shrimp production involves outdoor ponds in hot and humid climates. Most of the worlds supply of shrimp comes from shrimp farms in Asia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and parts of South America. For many reasons, these nations do not have the environmental and labour regulations we have in Canada.
All farmers know that losing a crop due to disease can have devastating financial consequences. Outdoor shrimp ponds are particularly susceptible to numerous sources of pathogens and contaminants.
Because of this, shrimp farms typically use a high number of pesticides and fungicides as well as hormones and antibiotics in the shrimp feed to prevent devastating diseases like White Spot and Early Mortality Syndrome.
In addition to this, there’s the labour and human rights issues associated with commercial shrimp farms overseas. Despite the attention this has received through the years, things, unfortunately, don’t appear to be changing.
Learn more about the human rights abuses rife within the fishing industry in the Human Rights Watch report from January 2018 “Hidden Chains: Rights Abuses and Forced Labour in Thailand’s Fishing Industry.”
Planet Shrimp’s Indoor Shrimp Farm
Much like Fogo Island Fish, Planet Shrimp is founded on values of environmental, social and corporate responsibility. It differs from mainstream shrimp farms in crucial ways.
As Marvyn Budd, one of the owners of Planet Shrimp says, “Planet Shrimp’s model for shrimp farming represents everything outdoor farming isn’t! We farm indoors and therefore control the environment eliminating 100% of the natural causes of disease from affecting our shrimp.”
Planet Shrimp’s indoor shrimp has pure and clear water containing natural ocean salt. They use a UV and ozone filtration system to recirculate the water every 90 minutes, neutralizing any potential bacteria.
The little shrimps are fed every half hour, 24 hours a day. They keep the waters at a balmy 30 degrees Celsius to ensure the shrimp are happy and well-fed. Budd likens this to living in a “shrimp spa!”
Furthermore, since the water Planet Shrimp uses is pathogen free they can use a much lower salinity than is typical for mainstream shrimp operations. This results in a clearer shrimp taste (rather than salt water!).
The shrimp are harvested daily and processed very quickly. It takes less than eight minutes to have them frozen whole and packaged.
All these factors go into producing some of the cleanest, tastiest shrimp you can get! Possessing a delicately sweet flavour and a firm bite, chefs and restaurant customers alike are in love with this product.
Both large and jumbo frozen shrimp are now available through 100km Foods and we’re so excited to see what you do with these fantastic Canadian shrimp!
Learn more about Planet Shrimp by checking out their producer profile and available products!