It’s hard to say no to some scampi when crustaceans cost little more than pocket change. But hidden costs lurk in those discounted bags of shrimp—in the form of environmental destruction and human trafficking.
Most shrimp consumed in the U.S. doesn’t come from American waters. In fact, about 90 percent of it originates at farms in Thailand, Vietnam, South America, and China. Using aquaculture to mass-produce the crustaceans has dropped prices to all-time lows, but increasing evidence suggests that the savings to consumers are fueled by human rights abuses and environmental disasters at shrimp farms.