An estimated 90% of seafood sold in the USA is imported from countries that could include Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and China. Only an estimated 2% of seafood imports are inspected. Imported seafood has been connected to human trafficking and some imported seafood products are grown in aquaculture farms that use “questionable” chemicals that could be harmful to your health.
If you knew where your seafood was coming from, it would change everything.
"What's The Country of Origin?"
In Alabama, if you ask, they are required to tell you the country of origin of the seafood they're serving. However, as we've found, it's all in how you ask.
You find a little shop near the beach with a sticker on the window that says Alabama Gulf Seafood. You see the US flag proudly displayed. Pictures of shrimp boats. This must be a good place, you think. Just to be sure you ask, "Is this shrimp local?" They respond, "Yeah, it's from the Gulf." Any unsuspecting tourist would feel good about that and probably tell their friends and family all about how they bought shrimp right there from the local waters. Sorry, you've most likely been tricked into buying the same shrimp you could have bought at the grocery store back home for less money.
Don't want to be made a fool of? Next time you go to buy seafood or sit down at a restaurant ask, "What's the Country of Origin?" If they say "It's from the Gulf." You know right then and there that something is up. The Gulf isn't a country. If it's from our waters, you know they would say, "It's from the USA!"
Another way they'll try to fool you is to answer with, "We get it from just up the road in Bon Secour, AL." or "We get ours from Bayou La Batre, AL." The truth? They most likely use distributors that happen to operate out of these towns and some of them import foreign seafood because that's what the restaurants demand.
Again, "What is the Country of Origin?" If they stumble around this question instead of giving you a straight answer, you can probably assume, it's not from the USA. Some servers might not know but, they'll go ask and they should come back with an answer that's a country.
We at Gulf Coast Food Lovers know where our seafood comes from. It's raised here on boats that are docked in Bon Secour, AL. It's caught here by fishermen we go to church with. They know these waters like the back of their hand and they rely on them to feed their families through honest hard work. Buying imports undercuts their prices, destroys their heritage and takes money out of our economy. Have some pride and demand that what goes on your plate is wild caught seafood from the USA.