Top 10 Reasons to Buy Wild-Caught, U.S. Shrimp vs. Farm-Raised Imported Shrimp

April 9, 2020

Here at Wild American Shrimp, you may see us talking a lot about the virtues of our Wild American shrimp the ultimate, most tasty shrimp in the world, which are caught in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. But how do you know which shrimp to buy in the store or order in a restaurant when 90-94% of them are imported and farm-raised? Here’s our guide to help you along –a good definition along with our top 10 reasons you want to insist on shrimp that wild-caught in U.S. warm waters.


IMPORTED, FARM-RAISED: Farm-raised, imported shrimp that are raised in ponds in a foreign country that has very loose regulations compared to U.S. regulations.

WILD-CAUGHT, U.S. SHRIMP: Our wild-caught  U.S. shrimp, on the other hand, are shrimp that have been caught on boats by fishermen from a natural ocean habitat, in our case the warm waters of Gulf of Mexico or the South Atlantic.


1 . GREAT FLAVOR AND TEXTURE PREFERRED BY CHEFS: Living free in the nutrient-rich Gulf and South Atlantic waters, our shrimp develop a naturally great taste and texture that leading chefs prefer.

2 . CAUGHT SUSTAINABLY: Our shrimp fishermen and processors follow all of the United States government’s strict guidelines to ensure that shrimp are harvested in a manner which does not disturb or take away from their natural environment.

3 . SLIGHTLY LOWER IN SATURATED FAT THAN IMPORTS: The nutrition quality of the seafood largely depends on what the fish eats. Fish in the wild eat a natural diet and tend to be slightly lower in saturated fat than farm-raised varieties [1].

4 . FREE FROM VETERINARY DRUGS, INCLUDING ANTIBIOTICS: Most of the imported product is grown in aquaculture ponds that require introduction of a range of veterinary drugs, including antibiotics, to prevent and treat bacterial conditions. For example, shrimp farms employ chemical agents to control viral, bacterial, fungal, and other pathogens, induce plankton growth, and to inoculate shrimp larvae.

5 . FREE FROM INJECTED HORMONES: Along with antibiotics, imported shrimp test higher for growth hormones and steroids [2]. This is to help artificially expand the size, vitality, and “quality” of their shrimp. These hormones have the potential to be absorbed into the human body, impacting our own body’s functions.

6 . VERY LITTLE IMPORTED SEAFOOD IS TESTED BY FDA: In FY 2015, FDA examined only 2.2% of all imported seafood and tested only 0.1% of 1 million seafood import entry lines for illegal drugs. Of that 0.1%, 12% of shrimp tested positive for illegal drugs [3]. In January 2019 alone the FDA rejected 32 shrimp entry lines from India, 26 of those due to banned antibiotics [4].

7 . IMPORTS FROM INDIA HAVE EXPLODED DUE TO LOOSE U.S. INSPECTION: Recent problems with illegal drugs found in Indian shrimp vividly demonstrate the need for additional consumer protections. India’s shrimp production has seen massive increases over the past decade due primarily to millions in illegal subsidies and widespread use of illegal veterinary drugs to increase production.

8 . WILD-CAUGHT SHRIMP DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE: AMR is one of the growing problems posed by drug use in aquaculture ponds. AMR prevents drugs from treating common microorganisms (bacteria, fungus, virus or parasite) in humans. AMR kills 29,500 Americans per year and is projected to kill 1 million Americans by 2050 [5].

9 . WILD AMERICAN SHRIMP ARE CAUGHT WITHOUT USING SLAVE OR FORCED LABOR: According to the Department of Labor, forced labor and child forced labor are used in at least four countries supplying shrimp to the United States. A special application developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, “Sweat & Toil: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Around the World,” demonstrated that Bangladesh and Cambodia both use forced child labor, Burma uses forced labor, and Thailand uses both forced labor and forced child labor. ASPA has covered this topic in a prior blog.

10 . SUPPORT AMERICAN WORKERS: When you purchase wild-caught, American shrimp, you’re not only supporting the local economy, you’re also supporting the continued livelihood of America’s Gulf Coast shrimping families. At the American Shrimp Processors Association, our members have been in the business for generations, passing down the torch through time to pass Gulf of Mexico shrimp to your table.

Here at Wild American Shrimp, we espouse the quality of wild-caught, Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic shrimp over farm-raised shrimp for a variety of reasons. As lovers of shrimp, we want consumers to be supplied with the best shrimp possible, which we believe are the ones that are allowed to grow, eat, and be caught in their natural environment: both full of premium taste and also free from veterinary drugs and hormones. We believe that our Wild American Shrimp fit all of the above and are the closest you can get to tasting perfect shrimp!


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[1] See Wild caught vs. farm raised seafood

[2] See Seafood Deception: What’s Wrong With Your Shrimp, (last visited on October 18, 2019).

[3] Id.

[4] See India Shrimp Rejections for Antibiotics Spike in January 2019, , (last visited on April 15, 2019).  

[5] See note 4, supra.