Route to Recovery

A trip through the epicenters of the recession

Following shrimp from the shore to the plate

November 12, 2009


BAYOU LA BATRE, Alabama – We spent the best part of a day down here in the seafood capital of Alabama learning the local shrimp fishing industry and the challenges it faces.

From the shrimp boat to the processor and distributor, we followed the shrimp on their journey all the way to the kitchen and the plate in a local eatery, The Lighthouse Restaurant.

Thanks to the kindness and of local members of the shrimping industry and others, we were able to see how shrimp journey from the shore to the plate.

This is a way of life that locals say is under threat from imported farm-raised shrimp and they maintain that without some form of help ever fewer U.S. shrimpers will ply the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo by Carlos Barria

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I LOVE Gulf Coast shrimp! We get it here in Toronto at Whole Foods and it beats the hell out of Asian farmed shrimp for flavour — and for eco-friendliness. Vast mangrove stands in Asia are wiped out to make room for shrimp farms. It’s a shame given all the habitat loss as well as the fact that these very mangroves are what can absorb the shock of tsunamis an help protect villages in the tropics. We support North American jobs, as well as the environment — and promote safety overseas — when we buy Gulf Coast shrimp.

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