Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp is about to make history by providing restaurants on the Las Vegas strip with shrimp grown on land just 30 miles outside of the desert-locked city. Advocates for the health of our oceans know we need to start thinking outside the box if we are to keep our waters stocked with fish but few have gone where Blue Oasis is going. They’ve built a facility that grows shrimp right in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and they’re claiming that their shrimping endeavor could save the ocean from the horrors of overfishing. We’re skeptical about whether the energy and environmental concerns of shrimping are really thrown out the window if you grow them on land, but interested to see what they’re proposing.
“One of the things that makes our technology so unique and so special is our ability to place these plants and facilities anyplace in the United States or the world for that matter,” Scott McManus, CEO of Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp told the Washington Post. “We can put it in the desert. We can literally put it in Siberia.” Sixty percent of the world’s shrimp comes from fisherman trawling the oceans and as we recently learned from a NY Magazine article, the very regulations that are meant to prevent overfishing the world’s oceans often cause fisherman to throw back thousands of pounds of unwanted catch — which could very well be good in another season — dead or dying into the ocean.
Though new technologies like the Safety Net are being created to help prevent the nearly 7 million yearly pounds of fish that are killed by trawling and then thrown overboard, the problem is still widespread. The logical alternative is fish farms — in the ocean — but they can be huge polluters if not properly designed and cared (not to mention the fact that the whole ocean industry could be ruined if oil keeps spilling into our fishing waters). So is a land locked, fish growing farm a better option? Blue Oasis recycles all of their water and “uses less water here than the average home in Las Vegas,” according to what McManus told the Washington Post. The facility was reportedly built with recycled materials, has an energy efficient lighting system, uses no chemicals or antibiotics while the shrimp are growing and their farm to table transportation emissions are certainly a fraction of the traditional shrimping industry. What do you think – is Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp onto something?