Illustration of Shrimp/Prawns

Shrimp/Prawns

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Seafood Variety

Harvest Method

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond, Raceway, Recirculating aquaculture system (RAS)

Location

US

Overall Rating

7.0 / 10

Summary

Shrimp production has been rapidly increasing globally. The US imports 1.2 billion lbs of shrimp annually and farmed 4 million lbs in 2013. It remains a net importer of shrimp. The majority of shrimp production in the US occurs in Texas.

Of all the production systems, coastal ponds have the most potential for escapes to occur. Best management practices reduce this risk, and negative impacts on wild populations as a result of hybridization is considered unlikely. Disease is rare on the farms due to best management practices and chemical use is infrequent. The aquaculture of whiteleg shrimp in the US involves little water exchange. Any discharge is required to be equal to or of better quality than receiving waters. The majority of the farms are not located near sensitive habitat where they could have a negative impact.

Compared to shrimps outside the US, a relatively large amount of protein sourced from wild fish is used in the feed. For every pound of shrimp produced, almost twice the amount of feed is used. Juvenile shrimp are sourced from broodstock thereby putting no pressure on the wild population to supply the aquaculture industry. Much data is available on the aquaculture industry as well as in the form of scientific papers, but some information is lacking regarding production data and predator mortality. Discharge from the farms is strictly managed.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Spot prawn

Pandalus platyceros

Method

Wild

Trap

Location

Alaska, Washington

Overall Rating

3.2 - 3.3 / 5

Summary

Shrimp are the most consumed seafood item in the US, although the majority of imported shrimp are farmed warmwater shrimp from Asia. In North America, US West Coast shrimp account for only 10% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada. Spot prawns represent most of the shrimp landed in North America, and are also the largest-sized coldwater shrimp species available on the market.

There are no formal stock assessments or defined biological reference points for any West coast US shrimp species. However due to the small size of the fishery and a number of measures to limit fishing effort and protect spawning stocks, it is unlikely that overfishing is occurring and stocks are being fished sustainably. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure. Management is considered to be moderatly effective. There is a general lack of regulation for most West coast US shrimp fisheries with no limit on total catch and limited effort to collect data on the effects of fisheries on stocks. However, there are area specific quotas in place for the Alaskan and Washington spot prawn fisheries and fishing areas are closed once quotas are met.

Spot prawn traps are generally placed on rocky, hard substrate which is relatively vulnerable. Traps do not usually cause as much damage as mobile gear types such as bottom trawls. Several habitats deemed to be “Sensitive Benthic Areas” by the DFO are closed to trawling. It is not known how the removal of spot prawns from the ecosystem affects its functioning. A study of bycatch in the spot prawn trap fishery found a number of different species being caught, however spot prawns and coonstripe shrimp were the two species that accounted for the majority of the catch at 90% and 8% respectively. No other species consisted of more than 0.8% of the catch.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Spot prawn

Pandalus platyceros

Method

Wild

Trap

Location

BC

Overall Rating

3.4 / 5

Summary

Shrimp are the most consumed seafood item in the US, although the majority of imported shrimp are farmed warmwater shrimp from Asia. In North America, Canadian West Coast shrimp account for only 1% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada. Spot prawns represent most of the shrimp landed by trap in North America, and are also the largest-sized coldwater shrimp species available on the market.

Both fishery dependent and fishery independent data show that spot prawn population status is currently healthy. The stock is not overfished since individual shrimp management areas (SMAs) are closed when total allowable catch is met. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Regular stock assessments are performed on individual shrimp management areas, and if total allowable catch quotas are reached in a certain area, then the SMA are closed to fishing. Management also bans bottom trawling in sensitive habitats (Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait) due to the presence of sponge reefs. Habitat damage is controlled by limitations on number of licenses and traps, as well as season closures.

Little data is available on bycatch levels in the spot prawn fishery, as observers do not record bycatch of trap fisheries. According to surveys, rockfish are caught in the fishery, and mortality is high, as they do not survive the change in pressure during the ascent to the surface of the water. Of particular concern is the quillback rockfish which is listed as threatened by COSEWIC, and accounts for more than 1% of the bycatch in the spot prawn fishery. Bycatch monitoring is currently being developed but has not been implemented yet.

Spot prawn traps in BC are placed on rocky, hard substrate. Traps do not usually cause as much damage as mobile gear types such as bottom trawls. Several habitats deemed to be “Sensitive Benthic Areas” by the DFO are closed to trawling. It is not known how the removal of spot prawns from the ecosystem affects its functioning.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Giant freshwater prawn

Macrobrachium rosenbergii

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Asia (except Bangladesh).

Overall Rating

6.6 / 10

Summary

Shrimp production has been rapidly increasing globally. In 2012, global production of giant freshwater prawns was 220,254 tonnes. The majority of giant freshwater prawns comes from China (57%) followed by Bangladesh (19%). All freshwater prawns produced in China are consumed domestically. The largest exporter of freshwater prawns to the US is Bangladesh followed by India, Vietnam and Thailand.

Prawn ponds in Asia are integrated with crops (usually rice) or built on converted farmland. Sensitive habitats are not impacted. Since prawns are often reared together with rice crops, high water quality is maintained due to the rice absorbing extra nutrients. When prawns are cultured alone, the practice of rearing them at low densities with little external feed also maintains high water quality. Ponds are discharged once a year during harvest, and negative effects on the surrounding ecosystem from water discharge have not been observed. Freshwater prawns consume little fishmeal in the form of supplemental feed. The prawns instead live primarily off the natural pond biota. Broodstock is obtained from both domesticated and wild sources.

Unlike marine species of shrimp, freshwater prawns are not as susceptible to diseases.. Low-intensity aquaculture systems also minimize the need for chemicals as prawns rarely acquire diseases when stocked at low densities. There is some risk of the prawns escaping into the natural environment. However giant freshwater prawns are native to Asia, and the farmed prawns are not genetically different from their wild counterparts due to the use of wild broodstock and stocking programs. Transmission of disease and parasites to wild populations is a possibility, although low stocking densities reduce this risk Much data is available in the form of scientific literature. Freshwater prawn aquaculture in Asian countries exporting to US markets is moderately well managed.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Pink shrimp

Pandalus jordani

Method

Wild

Modified trawl

Location

Oregon

Overall Rating

N/A / 5

Summary

Pink Shrimp are a coldwater species found along the pacific coast of North America. Most of the fisheries for this species use damaging bottom trawls as their harvest method. The Oregon Pink Shrimp fishery has addressed the environmental impacts associated with this harvest method by modifying trawl gear and using bycatch reduction devices.

The Oregon Pink shrimp fishery is well-managed. Management measures include monitoring and regular stock assessments, mandatory logbook reporting and bycatch reduction devices. All shrimp are fast-growing, short-lived and have high reproductive output, which make them inherently resilient to fishing pressure. Populations are considered stable and healthy.

The modified semi-pelagic trawl used in this fishery is much less damaging to the seabed than other trawl gears. An independent academic study was conducted with camera footage demonstrating that this gear does not drag along the sea bed. Bycatch reduction devices are used in this fishery, which have significantly reduced the capture of non-target species to less than 10%. In particular, these devices have eliminated entanglements with sea turtles, mammals and seabirds. Bycatch of groundfish remains a concern, particularly threatened rockfish species.

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  • Modified trawl
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Northern pink shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Trap

Location

Nova Scotia: Chedabucto Bay

Overall Rating

4.7 / 5

Summary

Since 1995, a small trap fishery (14 licenses) has been operating out of Canso, NS (fishing in Chedabucto Bay). There is no spatial overlap with the much larger trawl fleet and at present there are 8 active fisherman employing 100 traps each. The current quota for this fishery is determined annually based on stock health (in 2015 it was 360 t) and this catch is fished competitively.

Northern shrimp are protandrous hermaphrodites, and inhabit waters between 1-6 ⁰C. The SFA-15 stock off the coast of eastern Canada is currently healthy (i.e., not overfished) and there are no concerns of overfishing. Strong management of this stock exists, with annual stock assessment revisions and a thorough management plan with annual quotas based on outputs from the stock assessment (i.e., derived annually based on observed population trends) is updated regularly. There is a high degree of cohesion and transparency between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the various stakeholders fishing northern shrimp in SFA-15.

The traps employed by this fishery have negligible impacts on the bottom habitat of Chedabucto Bay as it is mainly mud and the traps are designed to be low impact. Nonetheless, to ensure the spatial footprint of the fishery is maintained, the transfer of tags between license holders the North and South side of the Bay is prohibited and fishers must fish on their designated side. There are no concerns of bycatch with this fishery, as the traps have been designed specifically to target only mature northern shrimp and several features are in place to ensure this is the case. Bait is used by this fishery, but all bait from the local herring roe fishery and would otherwise have been discarded.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Humpback shrimp (Coonstripe shrimp)

Pandalus hypsinotus

Method

Wild

Trap

Location

BC, Alaska, California

Overall Rating

3.0 - 3.3 / 5

Summary

Commercial trawling for shrimp became popular in BC in the 1960’s, to compensate for decreases in the salmon and halibut stocks. Catches were also high in the mid 1990’s, also due to poor salmon and groundfish abundances. In North America, Canadian West Coast shrimp account for only 1% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

Management is highly effective. Regular stock assessments are performed on individual shrimp management areas, and if total allowable catch quotas are reached in a certain area, then the SMA is closed to fishing. Management also bans bottom trawling in sensitive habitats (Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait) due to the presence of sponge reefs. In the latest stock assessment, pink and sidestripe shrimp populations were found to be at healthy abundances. The stocks are not overfished since the fisheries are closed when total allowable catches are met. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Although the bottom trawls used in the coldwater shrimp fishery are operated over sandy and muddy substrates which are habitats that are resilient to frequent physical disturbances, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms. Bottom trawls are not allowed to operate in areas deemed to be “Sensitive Benthic Areas” by the DFO. The shrimp trawl fishery causes the bycatch of the endangered eulachon. In 2010/2011, about 0.3mt of eulachon were caught as bycatch. Although eulachon biomass has slightly increased recently, population status remains extremely low.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Giant freshwater prawn

Macrobrachium rosenbergii

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Central America, North America, South America

Overall Rating

8.3 / 10

Summary

Shrimp production has been rapidly increasing globally. In 2012, global production of giant freshwater prawns was 220,254 tonnes. The majority of giant freshwater prawns comes from China (57%) followed by Bangladesh (19%). All freshwater prawns produced in China are consumed domestically. The largest exporter of freshwater prawns to the US is Bangladesh. The combined production of North, Central and South Americas was 592 tonnes in 2012. Central and South America do not export to the US. Within the US, 200 tonnes were produced in 2012. As a small-scale production in the US, most farms sell directly to end-users and little processing occurs.

Freshwater prawns consume little fishmeal in the form of supplemental feed. The prawns instead live off the natural pond biota, and produce a net gain of protein. Broodstock is obtained from domesticated sources, and does not remove individuals from the wild, thereby alleviating fishing pressure on wild populations.

Much data is available in the form of scientific literature, although the US is the only country for which industry production information is available publicly. Discharge from the farms is strictly managed. Operations in the US are subject to strict regulatory measures.

Unlike marine species of shrimp, freshwater prawns are not as susceptible to diseases.. Low-intensity aquaculture systems also minimize the need for chemicals as prawns rarely acquire diseases when stocked at low densities. Antibiotics and pesticides are not used during production. There is some risk of the prawns escaping into the natural environment where they are not native during discharge. However, there is a very small risk of them surviving and establishing a viable population due to temperature and salinity requirements.

Production in of giant freshwater prawns in the US is less intensive than in many other aquaculture industries. Given the practice of packing the prawns at a low density, the low feeding rate, and small size of the ponds, the resulting effluent is low in waste. Additionally, the ponds are not open to natural water bodies and they are typically discharged only once a year. Ponds are not located in sensitive habitats, and are placed on converted farmland.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Northern shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

3.0 / 5

Summary

Commercial trawling for shrimp became popular in BC in the 1960’s, to compensate for decreases in the salmon and halibut stocks. Catches were also high in the mid 1990’s, also due to poor salmon and groundfish abundances. In North America, Canadian West Coast shrimp account for only 1% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

Management is highly effective. Regular stock assessments are performed on individual shrimp management areas, and if total allowable catch quotas are reached in a certain area, then the SMA is closed to fishing. Management also bans bottom trawling in sensitive habitats (Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait) due to the presence of sponge reefs. In the latest stock assessment, pink and sidestripe shrimp populations were found to be at healthy abundances. The stocks are not overfished since the fisheries are closed when total allowable catches are met. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Although the bottom trawls used in the coldwater shrimp fishery are operated over sandy and muddy substrates which are habitats that are resilient to frequent physical disturbances, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms. Bottom trawls are not allowed to operate in areas deemed to be “Sensitive Benthic Areas” by the DFO. The shrimp trawl fishery causes the bycatch of the endangered eulachon. In 2010/2011, about 0.3mt of eulachon were caught as bycatch. Although eulachon biomass has slightly increased recently, population status remains extremely low.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Northern shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska

Overall Rating

3.4 / 5

Summary

The explosive growth of the warm water farmed shrimp industry resulted in a significant decrease in price for prawns which have transitioned from a premium product to a lower-priced commodity where it stands today. As a result the Alaskan shrimp trawl fishery has dramatically decreased along with fishing effort. In North America, US West Coast shrimp account for only 10% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

There are no formal stock assessments or defined biological reference points for any West coast US shrimp species. However due to the small size of the fishery and a number of measures to limit fishing effort and protect spawning stocks, it is unlikely that overfishing is occurring and stocks are being fished sustainably. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Despite the lack of formal stock assessments, the Alaskan shrimp fisheries follow Guideline Harvest Ranges (GHRs), which are similar to quotas or fishing mortality thresholds. Other management measures include size restrictions, limited entry permits, gear restrictions and area closures. These mesures help to protect egg-bearing females, extend the fishing season, and reduce effort during recruitment and growth.

The Alaskan trawl fishery operates beam trawls that are designed specifically for soft bottom habitats and are unable to access the more sensitive rocky substrate. Although sandy and muddy substrates are habitats that are resilient to frequent physical disturbances, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms. Due to the low fishing effort and low landings of the Alaskan trawl fishery, any bycatch that occurs would be at low levels.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Pink shrimp

Pandalus jordani

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

3.1 / 5

Summary

Commercial trawling for shrimp became popular in BC in the 1960’s, to compensate for decreases in the salmon and halibut stocks. Catches were also high in the mid 1990’s, also due to poor salmon and groundfish abundances. In North America, Canadian West Coast shrimp account for only 1% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

Management is highly effective. Regular stock assessments are performed on individual shrimp management areas, and if total allowable catch quotas are reached in a certain area, then the SMA is closed to fishing. Management also bans bottom trawling in sensitive habitats (Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait) due to the presence of sponge reefs. In the latest stock assessment, pink and sidestripe shrimp populations were found to be at healthy abundances. The stocks are not overfished since the fisheries are closed when total allowable catches are met. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Although the bottom trawls used in the coldwater shrimp fishery are operated over sandy and muddy substrates which are habitats that are resilient to frequent physical disturbances, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms. Bottom trawls are not allowed to operate in areas deemed to be “Sensitive Benthic Areas” by the DFO. The shrimp trawl fishery causes the bycatch of the endangered eulachon. In 2010/2011, about 0.3mt of eulachon were caught as bycatch. Although eulachon biomass has slightly increased recently, population status remains extremely low.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Tiger shrimp (Selva)

Penaeus monodon

Method

Farmed

Silvofishery: extensive mixed shrimp and mangrove forestry using Selva Shrimp Criteria®

Location

Vietnam: Ca Mau

Overall Rating

7.1 / 10

Summary

The Ca Mau region of Vietnam supplies about a quarter of the country’s shrimp. Mixed shrimp/mangrove farms represent 15% of the aquaculture operations, and are a small-scale system.

The shrimp/mangrove farms are typically family-managed operations. As a result, data collection of the farm operations is rare. Scientific focus though, is significant, and much research has been done recently, especially because of interest in the organic certification of the mixed shrimp/mangrove farms. The black tiger shrimp are sourced from wild broodstock, and are grown in natural ponds together with mangroves. The shrimp feed from the pond, and no additional feed is required. They are a good candidate for aquaculture.

No feed or chemicals are added to the ponds. Therefore, fouling of the water is minimal. Additionally, the mangroves act as natural biofilters. The deforestation of mangrove forests to clear areas for shrimp farms has been a concern in Vietnam, but in mixed shrimp/mangrove operations, farmers are required to maintain a minimum amount of mangroves. Since the black tiger shrimp are sourced from wild broodstock, if any individuals escaped, the wild population would not be altered. Risk of disease, and its transfer to the wild is low in the ponds, since the shrimp are packed at very low densities.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Ridgeback shrimp

Sicyonia ingentis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California

Overall Rating

3.0 / 5

Summary

Shrimp are the most consumed seafood item in the US, although the majority of imported shrimp are farmed warmwater shrimp from Asia. Within North America, coldwater shrimp landed in California and Alaska comprise a very small portion of the industry, with the majority landed from the East Coast of Canada.

No stock assessments are performed on US West Coast shrimp populations, and stock status is unknown. Despite these uncertainties, it is not thought that the stocks are overfished due to the small industry and robust regulations. The population varies with environmental changes, although shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resistant to fishing pressure.

The ridgeback shrimp fishery is small, with limited management. However, regulations such as minimum mesh sizes exist. Some fishery data is collected, and the last trawl survey was performed in 2003.

The use of bycatch reduction devices in bottom trawls has been effective in decreasing bycatch.

Although the bottom trawls used in the ridgeback shrimp fishery are operated over green mud, shells, and sand, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Sidestripe shrimp

Pandalopsis dispar

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

3.1 / 5

Summary

Commercial trawling for shrimp became popular in BC in the 1960’s, to compensate for decreases in the salmon and halibut stocks. Catches were also high in the mid 1990’s, also due to poor salmon and groundfish abundances. In North America, Canadian West Coast shrimp account for only 1% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

Management is highly effective. Regular stock assessments are performed on individual shrimp management areas, and if total allowable catch quotas are reached in a certain area, then the SMA is closed to fishing. Management also bans bottom trawling in sensitive habitats (Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait) due to the presence of sponge reefs. In the latest stock assessment, pink and sidestripe shrimp populations were found to be at healthy abundances. The stocks are not overfished since the fisheries are closed when total allowable catches are met. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Although the bottom trawls used in the coldwater shrimp fishery are operated over sandy and muddy substrates which are habitats that are resilient to frequent physical disturbances, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms. Bottom trawls are not allowed to operate in areas deemed to be “Sensitive Benthic Areas” by the DFO. The shrimp trawl fishery causes the bycatch of the endangered eulachon. In 2010/2011, about 0.3mt of eulachon were caught as bycatch. Although eulachon biomass has slightly increased recently, population status remains extremely low.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Sidestripe shrimp

Pandalopsis dispar

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska

Overall Rating

3.4 / 5

Summary

The explosive growth of the warm water farmed shrimp industry resulted in a significant decrease in price for prawns which have transitioned from a premium product to a lower-priced commodity where it stands today. As a result the Alaskan shrimp trawl fishery has dramatically decreased along with fishing effort. In North America, US West Coast shrimp account for only 10% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

There are no formal stock assessments or defined biological reference points for any West coast US shrimp species. However due to the small size of the fishery and a number of measures to limit fishing effort and protect spawning stocks, it is unlikely that overfishing is occurring and stocks are being fished sustainably. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure.

Despite the lack of formal stock assessments, the Alaskan shrimp fisheries follow Guideline Harvest Ranges (GHRs), which are similar to quotas or fishing mortality thresholds. Other management measures include size restrictions, limited entry permits, gear restrictions and area closures. These mesures help to protect egg-bearing females, extend the fishing season, and reduce effort during recruitment and growth.

The Alaskan trawl fishery operates beam trawls that are designed specifically for soft bottom habitats and are unable to access the more sensitive rocky substrate. Although sandy and muddy substrates are habitats that are resilient to frequent physical disturbances, bottom trawls have the potential to cause a number of ecosystem impacts. These include homogenization of the habitat, sediment suspension, damage to physical structures, as well as injury and possible mortality of organisms. Due to the low fishing effort and low landings of the Alaskan trawl fishery, any bycatch that occurs would be at low levels.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Canada offshore northern and striped shrimp

Variety

Northern Coldwater Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Atlantic Canada - SFAs 1,2,3,4,5, & 6

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Canada offshore northern and striped shrimp

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Estonia North East Arctic cold water prawn

Variety

Northern Coldwater Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Modified trawl

Location

ICES Ia,b and IIb. FAO 27

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Estonia North East Arctic cold water prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Naturland

Variety

Shrimp

Multiple Species

Method

Farmed

Various

Location

Worldwide

Eco-Certification

Naturland

Summary

In 2012 Seafood Watch completed a comprehensive study of different eco-certification programs to determine if any would be equivalent to their sustainability standards. As a result of this study this aquaculture eco-certification were determined to be equivalent to an Ocean Wise recommendation. Learn more about our recommendation policy here.

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  • Various
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

Variety

Shrimp

Multiple Species

Method

Farmed

Various

Location

Worldwide

Eco-Certification

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

Summary

In 2012 Seafood Watch completed a comprehensive study of different eco-certification programs to determine if any would be equivalent to their sustainability standards. As a result of this study this aquaculture eco-certification were determined to be equivalent to an Ocean Wise recommendation. Learn more about our recommendation policy here.

Learn more about harvest methods

  • Various
Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Canada Scotian Shelf Northern prawn Trawl

Variety

Northern Coldwater Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

CAN - Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFA) 13, 14, 15

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Canada Scotian Shelf Northern prawn Trawl

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Faroe Islands North East Arctic cold water prawn

Variety

Northern shrimp, pink shrimp, deepwater prawn, deep-sea prawn, great northern prawn and crevette nordique

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Modified trawl

Location

Barrents sea

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Faroe Islands North East Arctic cold water prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Gulf of St. Lawrence northern shrimp

Variety

Northern Coldwater Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Gulf of St. Lawrence, SFA 9, 10, 12

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Gulf of St. Lawrence northern shrimp

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Oregon and Washington pink shrimp

Variety

Oregon Pink shrimp

Pandalus jordani

Method

Wild

Midwater trawl

Location

Oregon & Washington Coast

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Oregon and Washington pink shrimp

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Norway North East Arctic cold water prawn

Variety

Coldwater Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Trawl

Location

Barents Sea and Svalbard

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Norway North East Arctic cold water prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Argentine red shrimp

Pleoticus muelleri

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Argentina

Overall Rating

2.0 / 5

Summary

Argentine red shrimp are caught by industrial shrimp trawlers in the Patagonia region of the Gulf of San Jorge. The industrial Argentine shrimp fleet is composed of 80 freezer vessels which export to Europe, Asia, and the US. In 2011, about 80,000 tonnes were landed. Abundance of the shrimp is highly influenced by environmental conditions which makes landings unpredictable. The species is currently fished at the maximum advisable levels. Management of the Argentine shrimp is moderately effective. However management of bycatch is a serious concern. The Argentine shrimp fishery impacts 6 of the 9 shark species that inhabit the fishing grounds and cause about 61 tonnes of shark bycatch a year. No management measures are taken to avoid shark bycatch. Bottom trawls can be highly damaging to the habitat, and are used on a variety of different substrates in order to fish shrimp in Argentina. Changes to the sea floor in the Gulf San Jorge where the Argentine shrimp are caught have been observed. These include defaunation, dead bivalves, anoxic conditions, and sediment quality changes.

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Variety

Pink shrimp

Pandalus jordani

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington

Overall Rating

2.2 - 2.3 / 5

Summary

Pink shrimp account for the majority of the landings and revenue of the US West coast shrimp fishery. In North America, US West Coast shrimp account for only 10% of the shrimp landed. In contrast, 85% of all shrimp landed in North America is from the East Coast of Canada.

There are no formal stock assessments or defined biological reference points for any West coast US shrimp species. However due to the small size of the fishery and a number of measures to limit fishing effort and protect spawning stocks, it is unlikely that overfishing is occurring and stocks are being fished sustainably. Additionally, coldwater shrimp have life history characteristics that make them resilient against fishing pressure. Although there are no stock assessments or reference points, efforts are underway to explore reference-based management strategies.There are currently no management plans, quotas or Total Allowable Catches (TACs). Enforcement is however, particularly strong with mandatory vessel monitoring systems, observers, and incidental trap limits.

In 2011, pink shrimp comprised 96-98% of the catch in the shrimp trawl fishery and therefore no other bycatch species comprised a significant portion of the catch. However, many of the species caught as bycatch are considered overfished including Pacific eulachon which is designated as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The pink shrimp trawl fishery occurs over soft and muddy substrate which is considered to be a ‘moderate-to-severe” impact. Studies indicate a decrease in invertebrate diversity and abundance of several common micro-invertebrates due to bottom trawling. Some gear modifications implemented include semi-pelagic box trawls that are designed to not drag along the seabed.

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Variety

Blue shrimp

Litopenaeus stylirostris

Method

Wild

Trawl, Various

Location

Gulf of Mexico, Mexico

Overall Rating

0 - 2.5 / 5

Summary

This assessment covers all the major shrimp fisheries in Mexican waters: blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus californiensis), and white shrimp (L.vannamei) in the Pacific/Gulf of California, and brown shrimp (F. aztecus), white shrimp (L. setiferus), pink shrimp (F.duorarum), and seabob shrimp (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri) in the Gulf of Mexico. In the Mexican Pacific industrial trawls, suripera nets, cast nets, small trawls and gillnets are used. While in the Gulf of Mexico, trawlers, cast nets, small trawls and charanga nets are most common. Overall, shrimp stocks are thought to be exploited at maximum capacity and there are no comprehensive stock assessments for any of the species. The majority of the gears (with the exception of cast nets and charangas), have high bycatch rates. The main species of concern in the trawl fisheries are the totoaba, sea turtles, seahorses, and some species of elasmobranchs. The most serious bycatch concern in the gillnet fisheries is that of vaquita in the upper Gulf of California. Bottom trawling has as negative impacts on a wide variety of ecosystems. Gillnets cause less habitat disturbance, but they may still disturb the seabed where they make contact. Cast, charanga and suripera nets have a low habitat impact.

 

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Variety

Brown shrimp (Gulf shrimp)

Farfantepenaeus aztecus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Skimmer trawl

Location

US South Atlantic, US Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

2.03 - 2.36 / 5

Summary

Several species of Gulf shrimp exist in the US South Atlantic and US Gulf of Mexico. The majority of wild shrimp species in the South Atlantic US and Gulf of Mexico is caught by bottom (modified otter) trawl. This report covers the species covered by skimmer trawl.

Shrimp have life history characteristics that make them inherently resilient against fishing pressure. These include a short life span (except for royal red shrimp which live for several years) and quick time to maturity. The stock status of brown, pink, and white shrimp is healthy. There are uncertainties regarding the population of the rock and royal red shrimp, and the status of the seabob is unknown. Management of shrimp fisheries in the US is moderately effective. Shrimp stocks are maintained at sustainable levels, although improvements could be made to reduce bycatch since catches of non-target species outweigh catches of shrimp. Although modifications to the fishing gear exist such as turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) or bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), use of these modifications is not always consistent or enforced.

The bycatch associated with skimmer nets is of concern. Among the bycatch species, endangered and/or threatened sea turtles are often caught. Shrimp trawls are responsible for the most turtle mortalities, and all sea turtles in the region are classified as endangered or threatened. Of particular concern is the loggerhead sea turtle population which is not increasing. Other species of concern that are caught as bycatch include the Gulf and Atlantic sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, Gulf and Atlantic blacknose shark, and red snapper.

It is thought that skimmer trawls cause moderate habitat damage. Skimmer trawls are mostly used on sandy and muddy bottoms, although deepwater corals may live nearby and be negatively affected by the trawling. Although skimmer trawls do not have doors that plow through bottom habitat (like in otter trawls), tickler chains at the bottom of the skimmer net can snag on vegetation. Gear modifications exist, but management imposing these regulations is minimal, and little is done to reduce bycatch.

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Variety

Humpy shrimp

Pandalus goniurus

Method

Wild

Various

Location

BC, Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington

Overall Rating

N/A / 5

Summary

The majority of US commercial shrimp fisheries use otter trawls. The biggest concern for these fisheries is their impact on threatened sea turtle species. Habitat damage is also a concern with the use of otter trawls.

Shrimp are fast-growing, short-lived and have high reproductive output, making them inherently resilient to fishing pressure. Atlantic shrimp generally have healthy and abundant populations, although their abundance does fluctuate somewhat depending on environmental conditions. There are currently no signs of overfishing for any species, except the Pink shrimp (Panaeus duorarum) which is now considered overfished. All of these fisheries are thought to be at capacity.

US near-shore fisheries are managed by each state, whereas the offshore fishery is regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Stock assessments are done regularly and bycatch reduction plans are in place. Logbook reports, observer programs and dockside monitoring are also part of the management strategy for US shrimp fisheries.

Trawls are highly nonspecific, so bycatch can be significant. The biggest concern for fisheries in the US south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions is the capture of threatened and endangered sea turtles. Turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) are now mandatory for most US shrimp trawl fisheries. TEDs have successfully reduced capture of Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, but the device is less effective for the larger species such as loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles. This reduction in sea turtle bycatch is enciouraging, but bycatch remains a serious concern as sea turtle populations become increasingly threatened. Bottom trawls can cause significant and irreversible damage to seafloor habitats. The soft-bottom, muddy habitats where shrimp are trawled are thought to suffer less permanent damage than other seabed habitats where trawling occurs.

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  • Various

Variety

Tiger prawn

Penaeus monodon

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Asia, South America

Overall Rating

N/A / 10

Summary

The majority of imported farmed shrimp/prawn come from developing countries in tropical regions and farms are built in mangroves and other coastal habitats. Regulation of this industry is generally quite poor in most of these countries.

Shrimp are farmed at high densities in man-made ponds usually located along coasts, in mangroves. Shrimp require large amounts of fishmeal and fish oil to grow to marketable size and quality. Typically shrimp farms use wild-caught broodstock. Management varies by country. Regulation of this industry is generally quite poor in most developing countries. Some management measures exist to lower densities and reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, but management has not addressed the impact of shrimp farms on coastal habitats.

Wild-capture of broodstock for shrimp farms results in significant bycatch of juvenile fish and invertebrates. Shrimp farms are often located in mangroves, which also support a high diversity and abundance of invertebrate, fish, and bird species. These species are threatened by habitat loss and pollution associated with shrimp farms. Local artisanal fisherman who harvest fish from the mangroves are also affected by the habitat loss and alteration associated with shrimp farms. Disease outbreaks and escapees are another concern.

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Variety

Spot prawn

Pandalus platyceros

Method

Wild

Trap

Location

California

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Spot prawns are found from Baja California to the Gulf of Alaska. They are the largest of the cold-water shrimp species. Spot prawns are quick-growing and short-lived with high reproductive output. These characteristics make them resilient to fishing pressure. Populations vary considerably with changing environmental conditions. Alaskan spot prawns are considered to be overfished, while the Oregon spot prawns are fully-fished. The status of the California and Washington spot prawns is unknown.

Spot prawns are managed by state. Although stock status is monitored in Alaska, and regulations are enforced, the effectiveness of the management plan is questionable, since the spot prawns are overfished and decreases in body size have been recorded. Management in California, Oregon and Washington is minimal.

As spot prawns are caught using pot traps, there is little concern of bycatch, as any non-targeted species can be released live. In the past, there was some concern over the amount of bycatch being caught by trawl in California, but the use of trawl was phased out in 2003. Although pot traps can cause moderate damage to the rocky hardbottom environment where the spot prawn are found, if the traps are hauled in at both ends, lifting them vertically, this causes much less damage to the seabed.

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Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Vietnam

Overall Rating

5.2 / 10

Summary

Two main species are shrimp are farmed in Vietnam; the native giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) and the non-native white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), which was introduced illegally in 2000. In 2008 the Vietnamese government reversed earlier legislation banning the production of white shrimp in the Mekong River Delta. Extensive giant tiger prawn farming is characterized by generally smaller operations with little no supplementary feed, high water exchange, and little management control.  On the other hand, the intensive farming of white shrimp is characterized by low water exchange, use of feed and chemical inputs, and mechanical aeration. Despite the large scale and global importance of Vietnamese shrimp farming, data is surprisingly limited. There is also a lack of effective regulation and enforcement. Two-thirds of Vietnam’s forests have been converted for aquaculture between 1980 and 2000.  Canada is one of the top 10 importers of Vietnamese shrimp.

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Variety

Rock shrimp (Gulf shrimp)

Sicyonia brevirostris

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Cast net, Midwater trawl

Location

Gulf of Mexico, Florida Gulf, South Atlantic

Overall Rating

2.03-2.36 / 5

Summary

Several species of Gulf shrimp exist in the US South Atlantic and US Gulf of Mexico. The majority of wild shrimp species in the South Atlantic US and Gulf of Mexico is caught by bottom (modified otter) trawl. This report covers the species covered by skimmer trawl.

Shrimp have life history characteristics that make them inherently resilient against fishing pressure. These include a short life span (except for royal red shrimp which live for several years) and quick time to maturity. The stock status of brown, pink, and white shrimp is healthy. There are uncertainties regarding the population of the rock and royal red shrimp, and the status of the seabob is unknown. Management of shrimp fisheries in the US is moderately effective. Shrimp stocks are maintained at sustainable levels, although improvements could be made to reduce bycatch since catches of non-target species outweigh catches of shrimp. Although modifications to the fishing gear exist such as turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) or bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), use of these modifications is not always consistent or enforced.

The bycatch associated with skimmer nets is of concern. Among the bycatch species, endangered and/or threatened sea turtles are often caught. Shrimp trawls are responsible for the most turtle mortalities, and all sea turtles in the region are classified as endangered or threatened. Of particular concern is the loggerhead sea turtle population which is not increasing. Other species of concern that are caught as bycatch include the Gulf and Atlantic sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, Gulf and Atlantic blacknose shark, and red snapper.

It is thought that skimmer trawls cause moderate habitat damage. Skimmer trawls are mostly used on sandy and muddy bottoms, although deepwater corals may live nearby and be negatively affected by the trawling. Although skimmer trawls do not have doors that plow through bottom habitat (like in otter trawls), tickler chains at the bottom of the skimmer net can snag on vegetation. Gear modifications exist, but management imposing these regulations is minimal, and little is done to reduce bycatch.

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Variety

Royal red shrimp (Gulf shrimp)

Hymenopenaeus robustus,

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Skimmer trawl

Location

Gulf of Mexico, US South Atlantic

Overall Rating

2.03-2.36 / 5

Summary

Several species of Gulf shrimp exist in the US South Atlantic and US Gulf of Mexico. The majority of wild shrimp species in the South Atlantic US and Gulf of Mexico is caught by bottom (modified otter) trawl. This report covers the species covered by skimmer trawl.

Shrimp have life history characteristics that make them inherently resilient against fishing pressure. These include a short life span (except for royal red shrimp which live for several years) and quick time to maturity. The stock status of brown, pink, and white shrimp is healthy. There are uncertainties regarding the population of the rock and royal red shrimp, and the status of the seabob is unknown. Management of shrimp fisheries in the US is moderately effective. Shrimp stocks are maintained at sustainable levels, although improvements could be made to reduce bycatch since catches of non-target species outweigh catches of shrimp. Although modifications to the fishing gear exist such as turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) or bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), use of these modifications is not always consistent or enforced.

The bycatch associated with skimmer nets is of concern. Among the bycatch species, endangered and/or threatened sea turtles are often caught. Shrimp trawls are responsible for the most turtle mortalities, and all sea turtles in the region are classified as endangered or threatened. Of particular concern is the loggerhead sea turtle population which is not increasing. Other species of concern that are caught as bycatch include the Gulf and Atlantic sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, Gulf and Atlantic blacknose shark, and red snapper.

It is thought that skimmer trawls cause moderate habitat damage. Skimmer trawls are mostly used on sandy and muddy bottoms, although deepwater corals may live nearby and be negatively affected by the trawling. Although skimmer trawls do not have doors that plow through bottom habitat (like in otter trawls), tickler chains at the bottom of the skimmer net can snag on vegetation. Gear modifications exist, but management imposing these regulations is minimal, and little is done to reduce bycatch.

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Variety

Seabob shrimp (Gulf shrimp)

Xiphopenaeus kroyeri

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Skimmer trawl

Location

US South Atlantic, US Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

2.03-2.36 / 5

Summary

Several species of Gulf shrimp exist in the US South Atlantic and US Gulf of Mexico. The majority of wild shrimp species in the South Atlantic US and Gulf of Mexico is caught by bottom (modified otter) trawl. This report covers the species covered by skimmer trawl.

Shrimp have life history characteristics that make them inherently resilient against fishing pressure. These include a short life span (except for royal red shrimp which live for several years) and quick time to maturity. The stock status of brown, pink, and white shrimp is healthy. There are uncertainties regarding the population of the rock and royal red shrimp, and the status of the seabob is unknown. Management of shrimp fisheries in the US is moderately effective. Shrimp stocks are maintained at sustainable levels, although improvements could be made to reduce bycatch since catches of non-target species outweigh catches of shrimp. Although modifications to the fishing gear exist such as turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) or bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), use of these modifications is not always consistent or enforced.

The bycatch associated with skimmer nets is of concern. Among the bycatch species, endangered and/or threatened sea turtles are often caught. Shrimp trawls are responsible for the most turtle mortalities, and all sea turtles in the region are classified as endangered or threatened. Of particular concern is the loggerhead sea turtle population which is not increasing. Other species of concern that are caught as bycatch include the Gulf and Atlantic sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, Gulf and Atlantic blacknose shark, and red snapper.

It is thought that skimmer trawls cause moderate habitat damage. Skimmer trawls are mostly used on sandy and muddy bottoms, although deepwater corals may live nearby and be negatively affected by the trawling. Although skimmer trawls do not have doors that plow through bottom habitat (like in otter trawls), tickler chains at the bottom of the skimmer net can snag on vegetation. Gear modifications exist, but management imposing these regulations is minimal, and little is done to reduce bycatch.

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Variety

Pink shrimp (Gulf shrimp)

Penaeus duorarum

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Skimmer trawl

Location

US South Atlantic, US Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

2.03-2.36 / 5

Summary

Several species of Gulf shrimp exist in the US South Atlantic and US Gulf of Mexico. The majority of wild shrimp species in the South Atlantic US and Gulf of Mexico is caught by bottom (modified otter) trawl. This report covers the species covered by skimmer trawl.

Shrimp have life history characteristics that make them inherently resilient against fishing pressure. These include a short life span (except for royal red shrimp which live for several years) and quick time to maturity. The stock status of brown, pink, and white shrimp is healthy. There are uncertainties regarding the population of the rock and royal red shrimp, and the status of the seabob is unknown. Management of shrimp fisheries in the US is moderately effective. Shrimp stocks are maintained at sustainable levels, although improvements could be made to reduce bycatch since catches of non-target species outweigh catches of shrimp. Although modifications to the fishing gear exist such as turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) or bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), use of these modifications is not always consistent or enforced.

The bycatch associated with skimmer nets is of concern. Among the bycatch species, endangered and/or threatened sea turtles are often caught. Shrimp trawls are responsible for the most turtle mortalities, and all sea turtles in the region are classified as endangered or threatened. Of particular concern is the loggerhead sea turtle population which is not increasing. Other species of concern that are caught as bycatch include the Gulf and Atlantic sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, Gulf and Atlantic blacknose shark, and red snapper.

It is thought that skimmer trawls cause moderate habitat damage. Skimmer trawls are mostly used on sandy and muddy bottoms, although deepwater corals may live nearby and be negatively affected by the trawling. Although skimmer trawls do not have doors that plow through bottom habitat (like in otter trawls), tickler chains at the bottom of the skimmer net can snag on vegetation. Gear modifications exist, but management imposing these regulations is minimal, and little is done to reduce bycatch.

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Variety

Tiger prawn

Penaeus monodon

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Vietnam

Overall Rating

5.2 / 10

Summary

Two main species are shrimp are farmed in Vietnam; the native giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) and the non-native white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), which was introduced illegally in 2000. In 2008 the Vietnamese government reversed earlier legislation banning the production of white shrimp in the Mekong River Delta. Extensive giant tiger prawn farming is characterized by generally smaller operations with little no supplementary feed, high water exchange, and little management control.  On the other hand, the intensive farming of white shrimp is characterized by low water exchange, use of feed and chemical inputs, and mechanical aeration. Despite the large scale and global importance of Vietnamese shrimp farming, data is surprisingly limited. There is also a lack of effective regulation and enforcement. Two-thirds of Vietnam’s forests have been converted for aquaculture between 1980 and 2000.  Canada is one of the top 10 importers of Vietnamese shrimp.

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Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Indonesia

Overall Rating

3.4 / 10

Summary

Giant tiger prawn and whiteleg shrimp are the two major shrimp species farmed in Indonesia. The farming of giant tiger shrimp began in Indonesia in the 1960’s. Although tiger shrimp farms occupy the majority of the land area used for shrimp farming, the volume of whiteleg shrimp exceeds that of tiger shrimp produced due to the intensification of the whiteleg shrimp farms. In 2014, 126.6mt of tiger shrimp and 411.7 mt of whiteleg shrimp were produced.

As open exchange ponds, effluent is discharged into the environment regularly. The cumulative impacts of multiple farms disposing of effluent is not addressed in the farming of tiger shrimp and is minimally addressed in whiteleg shrimp farms. Shrimp farming has historically been the primary cause of about half of Indonesia’s coastal mangrove forests. New shrimp farms are rarely constructed in mangrove areas, and some habitat restoration occurs but Indonesia nevertheless lacks adequate spatial planning laws to mitigate cumulative impacts. Shrimp farming in Indonesia uses a variety of chemicals. While tiger shrimps are typically not given medications and antibiotics, the use of pesticides affects species around the farm sites. As the farming of whiteleg shrimp is more intensive, there is widepsread prophylactic use of several antibiotics. This has lead to the development of bacteria which are resistant to several antibiotics deemed highly or critically important to human health by the WHO. Antibiotics that are banned in both Indonesia and the United States continue to be used.

Tiger shrimp are not fed commercial feed as farmers use fertilizers to encourage algal blooms which are used as a source of food. Whiteleg shrimp are fed commercial feed. About 1.5lbs of wild fish are needed to produce 1lb of whiteleg shrimp which represents a net protein loss. Escapes from the farm are possible due to frequent water exchanges. However, since tiger shrimp are native to Indonesia, and farms use wild broodstock, there would be little impact of the escapes on the wild population. Whiteleg shrimp is non-native to Indonesia. Whiteleg shrimp escapees could potentially cause negative impacts by competing with wild shrimp for habitat and food. Whiteleg shrimp have not become established in the wild to date. Transfer of diseases to the wild populations is a high concern due to the frequent water exchanges and the fact that a variety of diseases have been observed in both whiteleg and tiger shrimp farmed in Indonesia.

Tiger shrimp farms in Indonesia rely on wild-harvested broodstock from overfished populations. This has a negative impact on the wild populations of tiger shrimp as the farming operations exacerbate the depletion of the stocks. Whiteleg shrimp do not source broodstock from the wild, and instead rely on hatcheries. Although some farm-level data and scientific literature is available on shrimp farming in Indonesia, there is a lack of data concerning cumulative effluent and habitat impacts, chemical use, wildlife mortalities, and ecological effects of non-native shrimp introduction.

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Variety

Giant freshwater prawn

Macrobrachium rosenbergii

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Bangladesh

Overall Rating

5.28 / 10

Summary

Shrimp is the most popular seafood item consumed in North America. In 2015, the US imported 2,126 mt of shrimp from Bangladesh. Black tiger shrimp comprises about 2/3 of the shrimp produced by Bangladesh whereas freshwater prawns comprise approximately the other third. Shrimp farming in Bangladesh is extensive. Giant freshwater prawn ponds are located inland in areas previously converted for rice culture. Management does not take into account the cumulative effect of ponds on the environment, and enforcement is weak. Use of chemicals is low. The giant freshwater shrimp are fed a diet comprised almost exclusively of wild-harvested freshwater apple snail meat. This has contributed to a decline in the snail’s populations. Although the shrimp can escape frequently due to flooding of the ponds, the genetic differences between the wild and farmed populations are not significant and thus escapes do not have a large impact on the ecosystem. Farmed giant freshwater shrimp are susceptible to disease, but not at levels higher than those in the wild. Of concern is the fact that the shrimp farms are almost completely reliant on wild broodstock which is in decline. Collection of wild individuals to stock the ponds causes a high amount of bycatch due to the fine mesh nets that are used, and is highly destructive because it takes place in nursery grounds.

 

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Variety

Tiger prawn

Penaeus monodon

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Bangladesh

Overall Rating

4.98 / 10

Summary

Shrimp is the most popular seafood item consumed in North America. In 2015, the US imported 2,126 mt of shrimp from Bangladesh. Black tiger shrimp comprises about 2/3 of the shrimp produced by Bangladesh whereas freshwater prawns comprise approximately the other third. Shrimp farming in Bangladesh is extensive. Tiger shrimp are located in coastal areas and have been the cause of mangrove destruction and saltwater intrusion. The destruction of mangroves for conversion to shrimp ponds negatively impacts the biodiversity and nursery habitats needed by several species, and prevents the mangrove forests from functioning as a natural barrier to storm surges and cyclonic events. Management does not take into account the cumulative effect of ponds on the environment, and enforcement is weak. Use of chemicals and external feed is low due to the extensive nature of the farming. Although the shrimp can escape frequently due to flooding of the ponds, the genetic differences between the wild and farmed populations are not significant and thus escapes do not have a large impact on the ecosystem. Farmed tiger shrimp are susceptible to disease, but not at levels higher than those in the wild. Of concern is the fact that the shrimp farms are 100% reliant on wild broodstock which is in decline. Collection of wild individuals to stock the ponds causes a high amount of bycatch due to the fine mesh nets that are used, and is highly destructive because it takes place in nursery grounds.

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Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

India

Overall Rating

3.6 / 10

Summary

Shrimp is the most popular seafood item in the US. In 2012, 1.7kg were consumed per capita. About 90% of the shrimp consumed in the US is imported. In 2009, white shrimp was authorized for production in India. As of 2013, India became the largest shrimp exporter to the US.

White shrimp are raised intensively in India. However, little effluent is discharged due to management and enforcement of white shrimp farming regulations. There are concerns around the quantity and type of antibiotics used in Indian shrimp. Impacts of antibiotic use include antibiotic resistance, and potential contamination of feed by antibiotics. Additionally, some antibiotics classified as being highly important, and possibly critically important for human health by the World Health Organization are used. There are poor zoning laws in India, and shrimp ponds have historically caused the destruction of much sensitive ecosystem habitat. Zoning laws to prevent further destruction exist for new farms, but are not applied to those constructed before 2005.

White shrimp raised in India require 1.4lbs of fish meal to produce 1lb of shrimp. Escapes are possible despite the infrequent water exchanges. White shrimp are not native to India and raised from imported broodstock. Therefore any escapes would have the potential to negatively impact wild populations. Transfer of diseases to wild populations is a moderate concern due to the infrequent water exchanges

Much data is available on Indian shrimp farming. However there are concerns around the accuracy of the data especially regarding information on environmental impact. The effective regulation of tens of thousands of small-scale farms in India remains a challenge. White shrimp are sourced from domesticated broodstock. This means that no additional fishing pressure is applied on wild populations of wild white shrimp by the farms.

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Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Ecuador

Overall Rating

5.0 / 10

Summary

Shrimp is the most popular seafood item in the US. Ecuador is the 2nd largest source of shrimp to the US after Thailand. Most shrimp cultured in Ecuador is the whiteleg shrimp which are a species of warmwater shrimp which are native to Ecuador. Farming began in the 1960’s and production increased quickly before viral shrimp diseases (notably the whiste spot syndrome virus) forced low stocking densities in order to control the disease outbreaks. Currently 80% of the production is extensive and 20% is in semi-intensive coastal ponds.

Although the shrimp are grown in ponds where natural feed is produced with the aid of fertilizers, they are also fed supplemental feed. Some of the marine species in the feed are from unsustainable sources. Escapes are prevented with mesh screens, although improved measures such as inspections and back-up systems are not used throughout the industry. Escapees have the potential to breed with the wild whiteleg shrimp population and produce hybrids of reduced fitness. Predators such as birds are controlled with non-lethal methods. Whiteleg shrimp from Ecuador do not depend on wild population as broodstock, as they are sourced from hatcheries.

Fertilizer is often used in the shrimp ponds to encourage natural feed production. Little water is discharged into the environment – usually only during harvest. Mangrove forests have historically been cleared to make way for shrimp farming. Nowadays further habitat loss is prevented through regulations. Current environmental monitoring does not take into account the cumulative impacts of many shrimp ponds. Antibiotics are used in limited amounts, although these antibiotics are classified as “highly important” to human health by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Regulations such as annual inspections exist to manage environmental impacts. Insufficient data is available regarding compliance with these management measures. Academic literature is limited to specific issues such as mangrove deforestation and disease, but does not cover the industry and its environmental impacts.

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Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

China

Overall Rating

2.6 / 10

Summary

The vast majority of whiteleg shrimp are produced in Asia and South America. Production of Whiteleg shrimp is becoming increasingly popular and has grown rapidly over the last decade. Shrimp farms in tropical regions are built in mangroves and other coastal habitats. The construction and operation of farms (particularlly the release of untreated effluent) destroys these ecologically sensitive and important habitats.

Almost all of the farms use exchanging systems, which exchange 10-30% of the pond water daily. Although there is no data on the number of escapees due to this practice, there are bound to be some. More escapes can also take place due to pond breakages and flooding. It is currently not known what effect these farmed shrimp might have on wild populations but it is thought that they probably compete for food and that there might be genetic sharing.

Shrimp are farmed at high densities in man-made ponds usually located along coasts, in mangroves. Whiteleg shrimp require moderate amounts of fishmeal and fish oil to grow to marketable size and quality. Management varies by country. Regulation of this industry is generally quite poor in most countries. Some management measures exist to lower densities and reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, but management has not addressed the impact of shrimp farms on coastal habitats.

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Variety

Whiteleg shrimp

(Lito) Penaeus vannamei

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Honduras

Overall Rating

5.0 / 10

Summary

Shrimp is the most popular seafood item in the US. In 2013, 27,000 mt of whiteleg shrimp were produced by Honduras. There are currently 315 producers of whiteleg shrimp in Honduras, and 11 hatcheries. About 8000 to 10,000 mt of shrimp were exported to the US between 2010 and 2013.Whiteleg shrimp are a species of warmwater shrimp which are native to Honduras. The species accounts for ¾ of global shrimp production.

The semi-intensive ponds discharge water daily. The water in surrounding estuaries is monitored daily, and significant negative impacts have not been observed. Mangrove forests have historically been cleared to make way for shrimp farming in Honduras. However, nowadays many of the farms are sited on salt flats behind the mangrove forests, and many programs encourage the maintenance and expansion of mangroves. As farms less than 5 hectares in size are exempt from habitat-related regulations, there is the concern that the cumulative effect of many small farms is significant. Reports suggest that the use of chemicals and antibiotics is limited, but robust data to support this is unavailable.

Honduran shrimp are fed a low amount of fishmeal, and high amounts of crop ingredients. This relieves pressure from wild populations of fish for use in feed. Measures are taken to prevent escapes from the daily water discharge in the ponds, but it is unclear whether these methods are effective. Although whiteleg shrimp are native to Honduras, the farmed individuals have been domesticated for several generations and may be genetically dissimilar. Escapees therefore have the potential to breed with the wild whiteleg shrimp population and produce hybrids of reduced fitness. Lethal measures have been used to control predators such as birds. However no negative impacts have been observed on the bird populations.

Some data is available in the form of scientific literature and official regulatory monitoring results. Water quality is monitored weekly, and legal proceedings are taken against farms that exceed regulatory limits. Farms are initially granted 1 year licenses and must comply with environmental measures before their license is renewed. However, this regulation only applies to farms exceeding 5 hectares in size, and the majority of farms in Honduras are less than 5 hectares in size, which would exempt them from these regulations. The industry uses domesticated broodstock and does not remove individuals from the wild to stock the ponds. Honduran whiteleg shrimp are susceptible to several diseases which can be prevented by stocking the shrimp at low densities, as well as by using sanitary precautions and protocols.

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Variety

Tiger prawn

Penaeus monodon

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

India

Overall Rating

2.2 / 10

Summary

Shrimp is the most popular seafood item in the US. In 2012, 1.7kg were consumed per capita. About 90% of the shrimp consumed in the US is imported. Production of giant tiger prawns has remained at near-constant levels with 136,000 mt being produced in 2012.

Tiger shrimp are raised extensively in India with fewer regulations than those imposed on the intensive white shrimp production. As such, water exchange occurs frequently. There are concerns around the quantity and type of antibiotics used in Indian shrimp. Impacts of antibiotic use include antibiotic resistance, and potential contamination of feed by antibiotics. Additionally, some antibiotics classified as being highly important, and possibly critically important for human health by the World Health Organization are used. Shrimp farming has historically been associated with the destruction of mangrove forests. Zoning laws to prevent further destruction exist for new farms, but are not applied to those constructed before 2005. Additionally, small-scale farms which comprise the majority of the tiger shrimp farms, are not required to undergo inspection. The cumulative impact of the numerous small farms is potentially significant.

Tiger shrimp in India require 1.6lbs of fish meal to produce 1lb of shrimp. Escapes from the farm are possible due to frequent water exchanges. However, since tiger shrimp use wild broodstock, there would be little impact of the escapes on the wild population. Transfer of diseases to the wild populations is a high concern due to the frequent water exchanges.

Tiger shrimp farms in India rely on wild-harvested broodstock from overfished populations. This has a negative impact on the wild populations of tiger shrimp as the farming operations exacerbate the depletion of the stocks. Much data is available on Indian shrimp farming. However there are concerns around the accuracy of the data especially regarding information on environmental impact. The effective regulation of tens of thousands of small-scale farms in India remains a challenge.

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Variety

Tiger prawn

Penaeus monodon

Method

Farmed

Pond

Location

Indonesia

Overall Rating

3.1 / 10

Summary

Giant tiger prawn and whiteleg shrimp are the two major shrimp species farmed in Indonesia. The farming of giant tiger shrimp began in Indonesia in the 1960’s. Although tiger shrimp farms occupy the majority of the land area used for shrimp farming, the volume of whiteleg shrimp exceeds that of tiger shrimp produced due to the intensification of the whiteleg shrimp farms. In 2014, 126.6mt of tiger shrimp and 411.7 mt of whiteleg shrimp were produced.

As open exchange ponds, effluent is discharged into the environment regularly. The cumulative impacts of multiple farms disposing of effluent is not addressed in the farming of tiger shrimp and is minimally addressed in whiteleg shrimp farms. Shrimp farming has historically been the primary cause of about half of Indonesia’s coastal mangrove forests. New shrimp farms are rarely constructed in mangrove areas, and some habitat restoration occurs but Indonesia nevertheless lacks adequate spatial planning laws to mitigate cumulative impacts. Shrimp farming in Indonesia uses a variety of chemicals. While tiger shrimps are typically not given medications and antibiotics, the use of pesticides affects species around the farm sites. As the farming of whiteleg shrimp is more intensive, there is widepsread prophylactic use of several antibiotics. This has lead to the development of bacteria which are resistant to several antibiotics deemed highly or critically important to human health by the WHO. Antibiotics that are banned in both Indonesia and the United States continue to be used.

Tiger shrimp are not fed commercial feed as farmers use fertilizers to encourage algal blooms which are used as a source of food. Whiteleg shrimp are fed commercial feed. About 1.5lbs of wild fish are needed to produce 1lb of whiteleg shrimp which represents a net protein loss. Escapes from the farm are possible due to frequent water exchanges. However, since tiger shrimp are native to Indonesia, and farms use wild broodstock, there would be little impact of the escapes on the wild population. Whiteleg shrimp is non-native to Indonesia. Whiteleg shrimp escapees could potentially cause negative impacts by competing with wild shrimp for habitat and food. Whiteleg shrimp have not become established in the wild to date. Transfer of diseases to the wild populations is a high concern due to the frequent water exchanges and the fact that a variety of diseases have been observed in both whiteleg and tiger shrimp farmed in Indonesia.

Tiger shrimp farms in Indonesia rely on wild-harvested broodstock from overfished populations. This has a negative impact on the wild populations of tiger shrimp as the farming operations exacerbate the depletion of the stocks. Whiteleg shrimp do not source broodstock from the wild, and instead rely on hatcheries. Although some farm-level data and scientific literature is available on shrimp farming in Indonesia, there is a lack of data concerning cumulative effluent and habitat impacts, chemical use, wildlife mortalities, and ecological effects of non-native shrimp introduction.

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Variety

Nylon Shrimp

Heterocarpus reedi

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Modified trawl

Location

FAO statistical area 87, South East Pacific

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Chile squat lobsters and nylon shrimp modified trawl fishery

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Cold water prawns, shrimp, northern shrimp, deep-water shrimp, pink shrimp, northern red shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

North Sea and Skagerrak, FAO statistical area 27. ICES Divisions IIIa and IVa East

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Norway Skagerrak and the Norwegian Deep cold-water prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

King Prawn

Penaeus latisulcatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

The Spencer Gulf of South Australia

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Spencer Gulf king prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Northern shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

ICES Divisions IIIa West and IVa East (Skagerrak and the Norwegian Deep) in Norwegian and EU waters, FAO 27

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Sweden Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Norwegian Deep cold-water prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Offshore Striped Shrimp

Pandalus montagui

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Atlantic Canada - SFAs 2,3 &4

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Canada offshore northern and striped shrimp

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Atlantic seabob shrimp

Xiphopenaeus kroyeri

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Suriname

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Suriname Atlantic seabob shrimp

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Brown Tiger Prawn

Penaeus esculentus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

North/northwest waters of Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Exmouth Gulf prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Western King prawn

Penaeus latisulcatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

North/northwest waters of Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Shark Bay prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Cold water prawns, shrimp, northern shrimp, deep-water shrimp, pink shrimp, northern red shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Norwegian Deep. ICES divisions: IIIa and IVa East. FAO statistical area: 27

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Denmark Skagerrak and the Norwegian Deep cold water prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Western King prawn

Penaeus latisulcatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

North/northwest waters of Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Exmouth Gulf prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Brown Tiger Prawn

Penaeus esculentus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

North/northwest waters of Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Shark Bay prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

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Variety

Coldwater Prawn

Pandalus borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

West Greenland

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
West Greenland coldwater prawn

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

 

 

Learn more about harvest methods