The title of an article posted on www.shrimpalliance.com says it all: “Know Your Supplier…” The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s most recent report outlines a growing refusal of shrimp imports due to contamination by antibiotics banned in the U.S. Of 101 entry lines of seafood imports examined in October of 2014, the FDA refused 35, most of which came from shippers in Vietnam and Malaysia. Contaminated shrimp was refused throughout the U.S., from Massachusetts to Florida to Texas to California.

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The data, analyzed by the Southern Shrimp Alliance, revealed October’s refusals to be a record number of the past 2 years, since 42 entry lines of imported shrimp were refused in January of 2011.

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If you have met any of the staff at Florida Organic Aquaculture, you know we like to brag about our Happy Healthy Shrimp! Now, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has given us even more to talk about…

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Seafood Watch released their latest ratings, and farm-raised shrimp grown in the USA, like Happy Healthy Shrimp, are listed as “Best Choice!”

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America’s favorite seafood may now be used to preserve historic artifacts recovered from the sea. Zarah Walsh, at the University of Cambridge, is studying the application of a newly developed “cross-linked polymer network” consisting of chitosan, made from shrimp shells, the guar plant, an annual legume, and the “host molecule” cucurbit[8]uril.

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The polymer soaks into wood, degraded by marine organisms and bacteria. The polymer then bonds with the wood, as well as metal residues like iron from nails, bolts, and similar items, to provide structural stability. It also helps stop the shrinking process that wood goes through while drying.

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A joint report between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development had originally predicted that worldwide aquaculture was expected to grow by 2.54% annually. Now, FAO is revising that prediction, and estimating growth in the aquaculture sector to increase by ~4.14% annually until 2022.

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Although an ancient practice, aquaculture has been steadily growing as a commercial venture since the 1950’s. This year, consumption of farmed fish was greater than captured fish, a trend expected to continue in the future.

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The European Union’s recent rejection of shrimp imports from aquaculture farms in India has Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu calling for an increase in inspection of seafood imported to the US. Currently, the FDA is able to inspect only around 2% of foreign shrimp imports. This call to action comes on the heels of an article recently featured in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, which addressed the disturbing findings of a study on antibiotics in imported shrimp.

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Doctoral candidate Hansa Done and Professor Rolf Halden, of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, tested 27 types of seafood from 11 countries around the world for a variety of pharmaceuticals. Perhaps not surprisingly, many samples tested positive for antibiotics, including all of the top 5 seafood imports to the US; shrimp, salmon, catfish, trout, and tilapia.

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Discussions at two major aquaculture conferences this month have predicted that shrimp production may double within the next decade. While aquaculture farmers worldwide are currently producing an annual total of 7 to 8 million tons of shrimp, this number is expected to reach up to 18 million tons per year by 2030.

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The growth prediction echoes statements made by George Chamberlain, the Executive Director of the Global Aquaculture Alliance. Chamberlain was a featured speaker at the recent Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership conference held in Ho Chi Min, Vietnam.

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Data recently released from the 2013 Census of Aquaculture showed a 26% rise in the sale of aquaculture products since 2005. Last year, aquaculture sales within the U.S. totaled over $1.37 billion. The sale of crustaceans, like shrimp, crab, and lobster, accounted for $85 million of the total, a 59% rise since 2005.

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The census, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, provides a comprehensive picture of the aquaculture sector on both national and state levels.

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Although not true shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, like their delectable namesake, are yet another sea creature with the potential to help people live longer, healthier lives. While shrimp are a nutrient-packed addition to our healthy diets, Mantis Shrimp are offering scientist exciting new insights into developing life-saving technologies.

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In a project funded by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development, and the Australian Research Council, researchers at the University of Queensland are working closely with scientists in the US and UK to adapt elements of the Mantis Shrimp’s compound eye into a camera.

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By 2050, analysts estimate the worldwide population will swell to an overwhelming 9.5 billion people. With global food demands ever increasing, scientists are continually looking to long-term sustainable food growing methods, particularly aquaculture. Research by the University of Idaho is now helping aquaculture become even more environmentally beneficial, by developing largely plant-based fish feed.

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Just like people, our seafood requires protein to grow. Right now, the vast majority of aquaculture feeds source their protein from fish meal, a nutrient-rich supplement made from “trash fish.” Trash fish often comprise of species undesirable to sport or commercial fishermen, as well as by-catch products from commercial fisheries. Because these fish serve as a natural food source for many of the marine species in our ocean ecosystems, harvesting them in large quantities has a devastating environmental impact.

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Cleaning

Rinse shrimp thoroughly in cold water. If desired, remove heads by pinching and twisting or cutting with a small paring knife.

Peeling

While it’s easier to peel the shell from shrimp prior to cooking, leaving the shell on while steaming or boiling helps better retain their delicious flavor.

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To peel shrimp, first remove the legs by pulling them away from the body. Next, grip the shell at the head end and pull the shell up and away, continuing in a circular motion around the shrimp.

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