On Bangladesh shrimp farms, climate adaptation gone wrong

Since the 1980s, as rising seas and storm surges started pushing saltwater through the banks of tidal rivers and ruining their crops, rice farmers in Bangladesh, backed by the government, began shifting to shrimp farming. As Stephen Robert Miller writes in FERN’s latest story, published with The Guardian, “It was a way to adapt, and for a while it worked. Commercial shrimp, known as ‘white gold,’ has become one of the country’s most valuable export commodities.” (No paywall)

Study details aquaculture’s vast potential to feed the world

If the world utilized every appropriate ocean habitat for aquaculture, it could outproduce the global demand for seafood by 100 times, says a study by scientists at the University of California-Santa Barbara in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Americans are (finally) eating more fish

In a rare bit of positive news about the U.S. diet, Americans upped their seafood intake by a pound last year to 15.5 pounds, according to the annual Fisheries of the United States Report released by NOAA last week. Even though that only amounts to about four extra seafood meals per person per year, it constitutes the “biggest biggest leap in seafood consumption in 20 years," says NPR.

To break out of poverty, Vietnamese farmers break dikes

Farmers in Vietnam's southernmost province, Ca Mau, in the Mekong River delta, intentionally pierced four dikes erected against saltwater encroachment so they can convert rice paddies to seafood ponds. It was an illegal move, "but we just want to breed prawns to escape poverty," farmer Nguyen Thi Bi told Xinhua news agency as she stood on the edge of a newly created aquaculture pond.

‘Prawns’ made from algae

Biotech startup New Wave Foods is selling "prawns" made from algae and plant ingredients, says The Guardian. “We’ve done a few blind taste tests—unofficially, you know—and until we tell people it’s made of plants and algae they can’t tell,” says the company’s CEO, Dominique Barnes, who has a background in marine conservation. Even the executive chef at Google was so impressed when he tried the product that he ordered 200 pounds.

U.S. removes Vietnamese company from anti-dumping duties for shrimp

In a step that settled two WTO disputes brought by Vietnam, the United States rescinded anti-dumping duties against the Minh Phu Group for its shipments of frozen shrimp. The Commerce Department said anti-dumping duties will remain in place for all other exporters of warm-water shrimp from Vietnam.

Criticism of ‘rice first’ policy in Vietnam drought

The El Niño weather pattern, now on the wane, is the prime reason for crop-killing drought in Vietnam, "but it is not the only one," says the New York Times. Scientists say a contributing factor is the government's "rice first" policy, which leads to planting of three rice crops a year instead of the traditional one or two. The intensive growing depletes soil nutrients and magnifies the impact of drought.