Raising Shrimp: The Future of America’s Favorite Seafood (educational)

  • Directed by: Joe Cunningham
  • Produced by: Ted Caplow, Sarah Curry
Released: 2014
Running Time: 49 mins
Subtitles: English,
Subjects: Environmental Studies, Agricultural Studies 

From the same team that brought you FISHMEAT: Choose Your Farm Wisely comes an in-depth look at America’s most popular and iconic seafood—shrimp, 90% of which are imported. This exciting eye-opener encourages “the American public to wake from its sleepwalk through the supermarket isles” (Paul Greenberg, Author “Four Fish”) and reveals new ways of raising shrimp that offer hope for all. RAISING SHRIMP uncovers the economic and medical perils of an outsourced food supply, and follows Ted, an engineer, and Andy, an ecologist, on a quest for a better shrimp. Ted and Andy help us look at shrimp with a new excitement, revealing why this little critter is more than just a tasty dining choice, and could be a hint of salvation for our entire food culture.

Raising Shrimp (Trailer) from Collective Eye Films on Vimeo.


  • Official Selection, DC Environmental Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, San Francisco Food and Farm Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival 2014
  • Official Selection, Blue Ocean Film Festival 2014


“A fearless exploration of where seafood comes from.” - Carl Safina
"If you eat seafood, here is one film you should watch!" - Ellen Prager, Author The Shark Whisperer
"Exactly the kind of eye-opener the American public needs to wake it from its sleepwalk through the supermarket aisles." - Paul Greenberg, Author Four Fish

"Raising Shrimp: The Future of America’s Seafood is a product resulting from comprehensive investigation. This underreported topic is given a wide scope spanning experts at every facet of the aquaculture industry. Issues include antibiotics used in East Asian shrimp, the strict importing regulations for shrimp sold in Europe, trawling techniques, the history of shrimp farming and more broadly the environmental impact of this endeavor. Footage is synthesized to present a fast-paced energizing and informatively immersive experience.Terminology such as algae blooms could have been explained with further definition yet this evenhanded discussion of shrimp production and consumption is accessible. Raising Shrimp: The Future of America’s Seafood ought to be available in school, public and academic libraries. Cunningham supplies an information piece documenting the inner workings of an industry and the broader ramifications a single industry may have on the world. Highly Recommended" - Educational Media Review

"Filmmaker Joe Cunningham’s documentary follows engineer Ted CAplow and ecologist Andy Danylchuk as they slowly build a case for sustainable, ecologically sound aquaculture that would produce shrimp in the U.S. that could exceed imports (which currently account for 90 percent of America’s consumption) in quality, although the price would be higher. Raising Shrimp explores the dying Gulf Coast shrimp fishery business, where trawlers scour the ocean floor, destroying ecosystems and capturing many other species that are discarded. By contrast, shrimp operations in Belize experiment with recycling water and even fish waste in ways the exploit coastal saltwater flats yet protect that nation’s vast coral reef. While not deeply examining Asian shrimp-farming practices (simply assuming that the product raised there is substandard), the film successfully argues that the cleaner Belize operations can’t crack the U.S. market because the Asian alternative is cheaper (Belize’s output ends up mainly in Europe, where regulations are stricter). Meanwhile, sustainable aquaculture projects in the U.S. remain in their infancy but offer some hope for the future. Offering an informative look at the production of this popular food, this is recommended." - Video Librarian