Did you know that in shrimp farms, one eye of the mother shrimp gets cut off?

Shrimp and prawn farms generally cut one eye off of the female.
This is to remove the hormone that regulates breeding, so that they can begin laying eggs faster.
What if you, or your mom, gets the eye taken away like this?

Recipes without sacrifice below 👇

Most shrimps and prawns sold in Japan are farmed

Over 90% of shrimps and prawns sold in Japan are imported, amounting to about 6 billion shrimps/prawns imported every year [1].
Of those, about 80% come from Asian countries like India, Vietnam, and Indonesia [2].
Almost all of them are farmed, so you can assume that the majority of shrimps/prawns eaten in Japan come from aquaculture farms in Asia.

Not conducive to natural breeding in aquaculture environment

Compared to nature, shrimp/prawn farm environments are crowded, dirty, and prone to diseases,
so the ovaries don’t reach the final maturation stage [3].
To force them to breed nevertheless, it has become common to brutally remove the eyestalks that contain the gonad-inhibiting hormone [4].

Female shrimps and prawns get their eyes removed

Young female shrimps and prawns get their eyestalks cut off with heated forceps,
or get their eyes sliced open with knives and the internal content squeezed out with fingers,
all without anesthesia [5].

Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University

Shrimps and prawns feel pain, too

In Japan, 3 out of 4 people seem to think that shrimps can’t feel suffering,
but it’s been scientifically proven that crustaceans feel pain as well.
In Australia, for example, a business that was chopping up lobsters alive was convicted.
Shrimps/prawns who get their eyes ablated get disoriented, flick their tails, and rub the injured areas [6].

Eyestalk ablation is unnecessary

This cruel practice has been shown to result in higher likelihood of diseases among the offspring,
and it’s been shown that by providing high quality feed, similar egg production can be achieved without eyestalk ablation [7].
This research result received the 2020 Innovation Award by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.


@FAO Aquaculture photo library

The cruel practice is being phased out

EU’s organic label has prohibited such eyestalk ablation since over 10 years ago.
The leading farmed shrimp producer in Latin America, SeaJoy, has been breeding shrimps without eyestalk ablation since 2016 by improving the breeding environment [8].
The world’s largest shrimp producer, CP Foods, also announced last year that they developed biotechnological innovation to eliminate eyestalk ablation [9].

What you can do for shrimps and prawns

① Spread awareness by sharing!

② Put up posters!

You can print the PDF below at convenience stores (it’s easy;), etc,
or we can send you posters (outdoor use possible)!

③ Demand higher standards from certification labels

Please demand aquaculture certification labels to include non-ablation as a criteria in their standards.
Please demand this minimum animal welfare standard, which should be a matter of course if you think about it.
By not approving such horrific practice, aquaculture certifiers could become a world leader in the industry in which animal welfare is becoming increasingly important.

Please send your opinions to the most common aquaculture certifiers in Japan, ASC and MEL!

④ Let’s reduce shrimp/prawn consumption!

If we lower the consumption of farmed shrimps and prawns, there will be less victims who get their eyes taken away.
To eliminate the suffering of the annual 6 billion shrimps and prawns and of the mothers giving birth to them,
let’s make the choice to leave farmed shrimps and prawns off of our plates.

Have a try at restaurants and recipes without animal sacrifice!



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