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September 7, 2014

Thailand

Video—Industry Stats, Slavery, Boycott

 

Produced by the Thai Shrimp Industry, this four-minute video contains dozens of animated graphic images that argue that forced labor is not a major factor in the production of feed for Thai shrimp farms.  It also contains some good statistics on the size of the Thai shrimp farming industry.

 

Here are some samples of the graphics and editorial content in the video:

 

Almost all Thai shrimp are farm raised and then processed by 122 independent shrimp processing plants that employ over 300,000 workers.  Shrimp that enter the processing plants come from over 21,000 farms with over 77,000 employees.  More than 85% of these farms are small independent businesses.

 

Thailand’s shrimp farming industry involves more than 620,000 laborers, which is about the population of Washington DC, USA. All these laborers are working in Thailand legally.

 

 

 

The production of shrimp feed provides more than 46,500 jobs in Thailand.  Fishmeal accounts for only 10% of the ingredients in shrimp feed.  The feed mills purchase small, left over fish from fishing vessels, providing a livelihood for more than 190,000 fishermen.

 

However, forced-labor is not to be taken lightly, and it could exist on illegal fishing vessels operating in international waters that rarely come into port.  Compared to the large number of small legally operated vessels, there are not many large vessels.  The main business of these large fishing vessels is to catch larger, more valuable fish for human consumption.  The smaller, legal fishing vessels catch the fish that are used in shrimp feed.

 

Forced-labor is a critical issue.  Government institutions, officials and police have been working very hard to develop a law enforcement system to tackle and solve this issue.  The boycotting of shrimp from Thailand could create a crisis in the Thai shrimp industry that could lead to an even more severe problem.  Boycotting Thai Shrimp would affect millions of legal, innocent workers and their families.

 

Source: YouTube.  Understanding Thai Shrimp Industry (Infographics).  The Thai Shrimp Association.  August 28, 2014.

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