Consumer guide to prawns

Thursday 15 January 2004

Here's an interesting way to combat environmental and human rights impacts: don't annoy the consumers (who have no idea about the conditions in which something they buy are produced); merely inform them. On December 19, 2003 UK-based environmental group Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) released the Consumer Guide to Prawns, which lays bare the abuses of the industrial farming of prawns and shrimps. The idea is to make the consumers ask: by purchasing prawns/shrimps, do they promote the abuses?

-- (Credit: Culinary Edge)Consumer Guide to Prawns Environmental Justice Foundation

Here's an interesting way to combat environmental and human rights impacts: don't annoy the consumer (who has no idea about the conditions in which something s/he buy are produced); merely inform her/him. On December 19, 2003 uk-based environmental group Environmental Justice Foundation (ejf) released the Consumer Guide to Prawns, which lays bare the abuses of the industrial farming of prawns/shrimps. The idea is to make the consumer ask: by purchasing prawns/shrimps, does s/he promote the abuses?

tv celebrity chef Ken Hom is also part of the effort; he has recorded a two-minute video in which he highlights why consumers should think twice before buying prawns/shrimps. "People have been murdered in 11 countries in conflict linked to prawn farming. The environment has been degraded and human rights have been abused to bring us this luxury food product," he says. Prawn fisheries alone are responsible for one-third of the world's discarded catch, despite producing just 2 per cent of global sea food. "150,000 marine turtles are killed by prawn trawlers every year," Hom says. Adds Steve Trent, ejf's director: "With sales of us $50-60 billion, prawn farming is big business, but the true cost is paid by the poor and vulnerable in developing world countries where prawns are farmed." Prawn trawling also depletes fish stocks and destroys marine environments.

The guide is available free at the organisation's website (http://www. ejfoundation.org/shrimp). Celebrity messages supporting the campaign, and extensive background research, can also be viewed.

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