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Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK

Posted on June 11th, 2014 at 11:56 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


A six-month investigation has established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns (commonly called shrimp in the US) sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco.

The investigation found that the world’s largest prawn farmer, the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, buys fishmeal, which it feeds to its farmed prawns, from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned with slaves.

Men who have managed to escape from boats supplying CP Foods and other companies like it told the Guardian of horrific conditions, including 20-hour shifts, regular beatings, torture and execution-style killings. Some were at sea for years; some were regularly offered methamphetamines to keep them going. Some had seen fellow slaves murdered in front of them.

  1. OK, that’s another good reason to buy Louisiana shrimp.

  2. Please don’t buy Louisiana shrimp, Sue. 🙂 When I was a kid, shrimp here in Louisiana ran 39 to 49 cents per pound. When Louisiana shrimpers figured out they could sell their shrimp to northerners for $11 to $15 per pound, we started having to pay $3 to $5 per pound here. We had a good thing going … 🙂

  3. You exist to row this boat. Doesn’t anyone in the US get disgusted by this shit anymore?

  4. @chas

    “sold in leading supermarkets around the world”

    The US has lots and lots of company … I notice you didn’t mention the UK, Denmark, Paraguay, Qatar, or anyone else for that matter. The US is not responsible for all of the evil in the world.

  5. Got to support Rob on this one. USA may have invented the supermarket, but gobal corporations answer to no jurisdiction.

    And Rob? Go to hell. I’ve buying the best g’damn shrimp available. You can still walk to a dockside fish market, I assume?

  6. I wouldn’t buy prawn at any price. Shrimp that big are not tasty at all. 30-35 count Louisiana shrimp are the best.

    There was a time the average Joe could go buy shrimp at the dock, Sue. Not sure anyone still does that any more. I had a lot of friends who used to shrimp. Don’t think any of them still do. It’s all or almost all commercial now and those guys don’t sell 10-15 lbs at a time. They need to get them off of their boat. One of the great by-products of trawling for me was the crabs that got caught up in their nets. The recreational shrimpers I knew used to throw them away, give them away, or sell them for a song. I used to get a hamper of crabs (About six dozen) for $5. I was kind of upset when my source went up to $10. Now, a hamper of crabs if you can even find one is about $150.

  7. Perhaps you need to put out your own crab pots…

  8. I’ve done that, Sue. Not much of a water person any more. Don’t fish, don’t crab, don’t swim, surf, or ski.

  9. Asian slave labor is also producing another highly sought after product here in the west – porn… 🙁

  10. No that’s spelled p-r-a-w-n, Spaceman.

  11. @Rob: I joined a rowing club at 53 and it changed my life. Now I can actually fit down the hatch on my sailboat 🙂

  12. You bought a very small sailboat?

  13. If you’re going to row a sailboat, Sue, row with the wind … 🙂

  14. We thought about calling it “Wind Breaker” but that was already taken. As was “Burnin’ Hunk O’ Lurve.” But I digress.

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