America’s favorite seafood often isn’t inspected

Americans love their shrimp. We ate close to four pounds of it per person in 2012, according to the National Fisheries Institute. And if you’re heading to a holiday party this season, you may even find yourself reaching for shrimp cocktail.

But that shrimp you’re eating likely isn’t local. As much as 85 percent of the shrimp we eat is imported. Most of the imported shrimp comes from countries in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Indonesia and China. Some of it farmed and some of it caught wild.

Even if eating local isn’t a priority, you may still be concerned to learn that most imported shrimp is never inspected.

According to a study published in 2011, by the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, less than 2 percent of seafood imports are inspected. In 2012, the number rose to 2.7 percent, according to Mother Jones.

So, what is a holiday host to do when contemplating whether or not to serve scampi this year? Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is a good resource for finding information on all types of seafood, including shrimp.

See the original post I wrote for PBS NewsHour

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