Southern Shrimp Alliance Report Details How International Development Funding Has Crashed the World Shrimp Market

The Southern Shrimp Alliance announces the release of A Crisis of Our Own Making, a research report describing the role of international financial institutions, like the World Bank, in the creation of excess shrimp aquaculture capacity throughout the world. 

For the last half century, multilateral organizations have dedicated resources to the expansion and development of shrimp aquaculture in Asia and Latin America. This funding has been integral to the rise of the Indian shrimp industry and, more recently, the Ecuadorian shrimp industry as the dominant suppliers of the commodity around the planet. However, as all shrimp producers, including American shrimpers, now confront a global oversupply of shrimp and saturated world markets, multilateral groups like the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation have increased their participation in the industry, supporting even greater expansion of shrimp production capacity.

Excess capacity and oversupply have resulted in significant declines in shrimp commodity prices across markets. U.S. shrimp fishermen are struggling to find customers for their catch while their foreign competitors cut prices to defend market share. Yet, with great fanfare, new projects supporting further growth of shrimp farming capacity continue to be announced by international financial institutions.

A Crisis of Our Own Making reflects the research and work of Board Members of the Southern Shrimp Alliance and other industry members to catalog the harm caused by the funding of shrimp aquaculture by multilateral organizations over the last several decades. The Southern Shrimp Alliance’s report explains how U.S.-taxpayer funds have been used to support the overseas production of a commodity that is now in surplus in world markets which, when exported to the United States, have been causing substantial injury to the U.S. shrimp industry.

As detailed in A Crisis of Our Own Making, U.S. law requires that the representatives of the federal government appointed to represent the United States at the international financial institutions “voice and vote” in opposition to projects funding shrimp aquaculture. Moreover, the Southern Shrimp Alliance’s report describes how continued funding of shrimp farming has directly led to further deforestation of mangroves around the world – environmental devastation that the U.S. government is currently addressing through the use of even more taxpayer funds to finance the “Climate Smart Shrimp Fund” through the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, even while separately funding, through international financial institutions, the decimation of mangrove ecosystems to make way for more shrimp farms.

“All across our southern coast, shrimp boats are tied up and fishermen are not working,” said John Williams, the executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “This industry operates without a safety net and we are losing businesses every day. Learning that our tax dollars are being used to make the nails for our coffins is too much and requires all of us to say enough is enough.”

Read A Crisis of Our Own Making: U.S.-Backed Development Funding of Foreign Shrimp Aquaculture Is Substantially Injuring the American Shrimp Industry (Aug. 2023) here:

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