Shrimp feed on naturally occurring plankton and microorganisms which can be encouraged to grow by adding antibiotics and organic and chemical fertilizers to shrimp ponds. This pollution from ponds is then flushed into the surrounding ecosystem by tides. The release of antibiotics into natural systems increases resistance among bacteria and threatens human and livestock populations with infection.
Shrimp farms are also known to sometimes increase the salinity of surrounding farmland and alter the water chemistry of aquatic ecosystems.
While laws have been passed to regulate shrimp farm development, authorities are often hesitant to enforce regulations due to the income it brings the local population. In many areas shrimp provide the highest immediate return for poor farmers and fisherman.
Yes and no. Yes, like all things in life, there can be some detriment to the environment. For instance, if you go camping and light a camp fire, you’re contributing to dirtying the air. However, this is nominal, of course.
Shrimp farming is more invasive, in that it removes vast numbers of these creatures from the planet. However, they reproduce very, very quickly and are being protected more and more as their numbers dwindle.
A negative externality (side effect) to this industry is the use of fuel for the boats that capture the little creatures. Any expenditure of fuel adds to worsening environmental conditions. However, with moderation, this industry is not so very bad.
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