Rick Moonen champions ecologically important shrimp farm

Chef Rick Moonen stepped up to the podium at the ceremony for the grand opening of the Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp Farm, to speak about his pet topic, sustainability.

“Las Vegas consumes as much shrimp”, he said, “as the rest of the country combined…or nearly as much.” He paused for effect and then said, “ninety percent of the shrimp we consume is imported, so is a shrimp farm in Las Vegas ecologically significant?…., hellllooooo!”

Moonen has morphed from celebrity chef into our unofficial spokesperson for seafood sustainability, and his words may prove to be prophetic. If this venture is successful, it could spawn other such endeavors, and have a far reaching effect on the environment, as well as on seafood prices and production.

Aquaculture, a term for the artificial cultivation of species of fish, is nothing new. Most of us eat factory farmed fish like tilapia or Atlantic salmon without thinking about it. But there is a downside. Salmon are often compromised, and carry unwanted bacteria and pathogens, and tilapia can often be mushy and tasteless. I never eat Atlantic salmon.

For more of Max Jacobson on the Blue Oasis shrimp farm, visit UnicaWorld.com.