Citing environmental damage, India's Supreme Court ordered all large commercial shrimp farms in five coastal states closed by April 30, 1997. The action was particularly bold since shrimp farming in India was a business worth US$ 500 million a year. In urging India's Supreme Court to take action against large-scale shrimp farming, conservationists cited abuses that included wetlands destruction, pollution of coastal waters, degradation of coastal fisheries and peremptory land acquisition. Scientific studies found that the cost of repairing environmental degradation from the farming would be greater than earnings from shrimp exports.
Consumers can insist that the shrimp they buy have either been produced in sustainable farms or caught in the wild. But they may have to pay a premium for such kindness to the Earth.