All shrimp caught in Louisiana have been given a "red light" grade, an advisory that environmentally-conscious consumers not buy them, because of the state's policy on sea turtle protection.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, which rates seafood based on its sustainability and eco-friendliness, has placed all Louisiana shrimp among the 5 percent of US seafood products that it recommends its followers not purchase.
The Whole Foods supermarket chain is among outlets that make purchasing decisions based on the aquarium's recommendations, which are readily obtained on the Internet or in a smart-phone application.
A Seafood Watch assessment of the U.S. shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic released Monday says that threats to sea turtles are among the nation's most critical conservation issues, and that shrimp nets – which become non-threatening when turtle excluder devices are used – remain, at least in Louisiana.
U.S. fishery species assessed by Seafood Watch are rated either green – Best Choice – or yellow (Good Alternative). Those which do not qualify are rated red, for "Avoid."
"Alone among Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic states, Louisiana prohibits enforcement of federal requirements to use turtle excluder devices," a report issued by the aquarium Monday states."
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National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14
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