Shrimp farms: The next threat to Galveston Bay




McFarlane, Robert W.

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission


Shrimp mariculture has migrated up the Texas coast and now threatens Galveston Bay. This activity poses three major threats to the health of the Galveston Bay ecosystem: (1) degradation of water quality, (2) the potential introduction of an exotic shrimp species, and (3) the potential introduction of an exotic shrimp pathogen or parasite. All of these threats have occurred in Texas estuaries and their environmental impact is unpredictable. The ecological footprint of a shrimp farm is much larger than the upland area occupied by the farm. Application of the Precautionary Principle would lead shrimp farmers and agency regulators to adopt a conservative approach until the absence of an environmental threat has been demonstrated. This paper will discuss the three necessary goals in order to attain ecologically sustainable shrimp farming.


pg. 217


water quality, degradation, shrimp culture, environmental impact, nutrients, parasite control, pathogens