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Protecting The Shrimp Industry In The Outer Banks

In our last article we talked about some of the obvious downsides of foreign shrimp filling the gap after the state government ends the employment and industry of families who shrimp in the Outer Banks. Besides just economic devastation to the Outer Banks, I had mentioned serious health risks involved with foreign Shrimp, including a Consumer Reports Magazine clip about what we are actually eating.shrimp

Well now I am going into more depth. As tourists, the lifeblood of the Outer Banks, descend this Summer on the OBX seeking the Outer Banks shrimp , here is what they would get if the bureaucracy has their way. Let us start at the beginning..

The Outer Banks Is One Of The Last Bastions Of American Shrimp In The Shrimp Industry

94% of all shrimp comes from foreign countries. With two huge coasts and a giant Gulf of water south of Texas and outer_banks_shrimp_carryoutFlorida all our jobs have sailed overseas and we are getting what these countries send us. Most of these shrimp come from outdoor manmade ponds. Some of there characteristics of these shrimp aqua factories are:

  • Shrimp are compacted, almost 150 shrimp per meter
  • They are fed antibiotics
  • Some ponds get a buildup of fecal matter
  • Some receive waste water runoff that is contaminated

So what does that mean to a shrimp consumer in America or the Outer Banks

Consumer Reports tested over 500 shrimp in different categories and where is what they found:

  • Over 15 percent of the shrimp had E-coli or Vibrio
  • Over 60% had bacteria in them in countries like Bangladesh and India, over 70% had bacteria in them

Well how do you know the good shrimp from the bad…Well you don’t

The FDA only tests less than 1% of the shrimp that come into the country. I am not a professional scientist, but those are not good odds. Let us do the math:

In this system of potentially unsafe bacteria ridden shrimp, for every 100 shrimp that come in the country:

  • 60 or more have bacteria
  • Only 1% of those 60 are tested

So if 9 out of 10 of every shrimp sold comes from foreign shrimp compounds:

6 out of 10 of those shrimp have bacteria and could be dangerous and only .6 will get

What could this mean?

Well let us say in a horrifying scenario in the Outer Banks in which restaurants that once carried wild American OBX shrimp now have this delicious foreign shrimp. By default the chances of people getting sick go up due to the bacteria. Think of how many restaurants in the Outer Banks use the local shrimp who now would be forced to play the odds of a potential contamination level of 60% in all their shrimp.

north carolina governmentWhat would be the impact if just a few tourists got sick at these restaurants?

What can we do?

Here are a few steps to continue the fight:

  • Like and Follow Waterman United on Facebook for a continued update of things you can do
  • Sign any petition against the shrimp ban
  • Email or write your State Senator and the Governor

Other Outer Banks Shrimp articles

Protecting the Outer Banks Shrimp Industry

Fresh Outer Banks Shrimp Could Be Gone Forever