The Boxing Day Tsunami: Did Our Taste for Shrimp Doom People to Drown?

Harvesting food from the sea has always taken a serious toll in human life. As Sir Walter Scott once wrote: “It’s no fish ye’re buying, it’s men’s lives.” The same principle may have applied to the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. The devastation of the coastal mangrove forests by the commercial shrimp farming industry stripped coastal communities of an important buffer against the power of the sea.

A study published in Science in 2005 showed that where the mangrove forests still existed, they did provide valuable protection against the Boxing Day Tsunami.

Here’s what happens when there’s nothing standing between you and the power of the ocean:

One way to help protect the mangroves, and the ecosystems and communities they support, is to stop eating shrimp. For more information, visit the Mangrove Action Project ( and their Shrimp Less, Think More blog (

In case you were wondering, gorillas don’t fish. If gorillas don’t need to eat seafood in order to grow big and strong, neither do you. Nor do human beings need to eat seafood in order to grow a large and useful brain.