Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sustainable shrimp farming in Las Vegas

From the land of wasteful resource use comes a development in sustainability. Shrimp farmed in recirculating tanks just outside of Las Vegas, far from the ocean (unless you count Mandalay Bay's wave pool).

Are there any aquaculture critics who can't accept this as sustainable?


Sarah said...

Pretty incredible actually. Glad to see Vegas get on board with anything like competent resource use. Maybe next they farm tilapia in the Bellagio fountains? I know, I'm dreaming.

Jake Etzkorn said...

When I first heard about this, two questions immediately sprung to mind: What are they feeding the shrimp and where are they getting the water from?

The first point is a major sticking point in the 'sustainability' of most aquaculture production (i.e. seafood raised on meal from an unsustainable fishery cannot be sustainable). Although it isn't clear from the company's website what exactly they feed these shrimp, they do mention that the ratio of fish meal/oils to the final product is close to a 1:1 ratio, which is good to see.

The second point is addressed at length on the company website, and it appears that they have a very well-designed system for conserving water.

Although I find it ironic that such a sustainable product (if the info on the website is accurate) is being marketed to such an inherently unsustainable city as Las Vegas, it does appear to be a much better option those currently available there. Of course, as I live in British Columbia, I'll stick to locally caught spot prawns for now: http://seachoice.org/profile/10.