Focus: Water Resources
Location: Canso, Canada
The Chedabucto Bay Trap Caught Shrimp Fishery began in 1991 by Mike Newell, an innovative lobster fisherman from Canso, Nova Scotia who saw a future in shrimp. This owner-operated, community based fishery brings a larger, fresher shrimp to the dock than the trawler feet. However, low volumes mean that trap fishermen need a higher price for their catch to make it worthwhile.
Trap-caught shrimp are an environmental “best choice” because of their low impact to the marine ecosystem. Most wild shrimp are caught with trawl gear that damages the ocean floor and results in the wasted bycatch of many unintended species. As for farmed shrimp, they are often associated with human rights violations and the destruction of tropical mangrove ecosystems. When asked about his father’s motivations for the shrimp trap fishery, Alen Newell explains; “If you’re protecting the species and the environment they live in, then you’re protecting your income.”
In 2007, the Ecology Action Centre started working with the trappers to help them differentiate their catch from shrimp caught by trawlers. By working together on quality control, distribution, and market development, the partnership has been able to more than double the price that fishermen get at the dock. As demand for sustainable seafood grows, so do valuable opportunities for Nova Scotia’s small-scale fisheries. Chedabucto Bay fishermen are building new markets and shaping a new way of doing business in the Canso area, where a sustainable, high quality product is rewarded with a fair price at the dock.
What other models of sustainability and profitability exist in the environmental space?
Environmental Impact: Preserved and protected biodiversity
Credits: Small Scales
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