Editor, The Seattle Times
Letters to the Editor
May 23, 2010
I’m responding to your May 21st article "Local business owners planning for fallout from Gulf oil disaster," by Mellisa Allison and Amy Martinez, describing a Seattle restaurant owner procuring his shrimp from Mexico, rather than from the US Gulf Coast. While the oil leak disaster will produce serious shortages of Gulf Coast shrimp, why add fuel to an already raging ecological fire by substituting imported farm-raised shrimp for US shrimp? The level of US demand is itself unsustainable and contributing to massive mangrove forest losses, fisheries declines and human rights abuses just to feed our thoughtless appetite in the US for cheap shrimp. We need to see a reduction of our consumption, rather than try to fill the "gap" left by the BP created disaster! Mangrove Action Project has recently launched its Question Your Shrimp consumer campaign aimed at consumers, chefs and retailers, urging a reduction in shrimp consumption levels from 4.4 lbs. per capita to levels 10 years ago of 2.2 lbs. We need to half our consumption, rather than attempt to maintain it. Otherwise, our dining habits will cause an even greater ecological disaster, which our Mother Earth herself can no longer stomach!
Executive DirectorMangrove Action Project