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Let Them Eat Shrimp: The Tragic Disappearance of the Rainforests of the Sea

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  13 reviews
What’s the connection between a platter of jumbo shrimp at your local restaurant and murdered fishermen in Honduras, impoverished women in Ecuador, and disastrous hurricanes along America’s Gulf coast? Mangroves. Many people have never heard of these salt-water forests, but for those who depend on their riches, mangroves are indispensable. They are natural storm barriers, ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published February 23rd 2011 by Island Press (first published December 13th 2010)
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Apr 04, 2011 Sue rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Naturalists, world travelers, people who live near the coast
The idea for this book originated as a story for National Geographic Magazine-- the article is a great preview for the book. The slide show is amazing, of course.

Kennedy Warne visits mangroves from Bangladesh to Eritrea to Panama and Brazil. Though the title references shrimp farms, the book is centered on the ecology of mangroves, the cultures they support, threats to their continued existence, and ecosystem services. Culture? Yes--just like the rainforests referenced in the subtitle, mangro
Mangrove forests harbor many incredible creatures and help provide storm barriers for our land. So many times they have been taken for granted or treated as dispensible. As civilization pushes forward into new areas, mangrove areas have been not only disturbed, but in some cases destroyed. Why? Many times it is to produce new areas for shrimp farming. In this book, Kennedy Warne takes the time to explain the importance of mangroves and the habitat they provide. It is an interesting wake-up call ...more
Bryan D.
61 of 75 for 2015. I may never eat shrimp again. OK That's not true, but having read Kennedy study of the mangrove forests around the world, I have a new appreciation for how our endless shrimp feasts are negatively impacting the climate. Mangrove forests grow around the world in the tropical latitudes. They grow as far north as Florida and as far south as the north island of New Zealand. They can be found on pretty much every continent except Europe and Antarctica, and usually in third world co ...more
just a fabulous book. very eye opening.
I received a free copy of Let Them Eat Shrimp, a look at the destruction of mangrove forests for shrimp farming, as part of an Island Press giveaway. It's good to see an issue like this get some more attention, and Warne's poetic prose helps to draw the reader in by making the book feel partly like a vivid travelogue. It also describes the seriousness of the issue without being too gloom-and-doom, which should be the first rule of all environmental writing.
That said, it's a book that I have a ha
Jun 03, 2013 Amara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: environmentalists, shrimp consumers, anyone curious about mangroves
A copy of this book was provided for free via Netgalley for the purpose of review.

Mangroves are something that I can honestly say I have never considered when it comes to climate change and environment destruction. For all my concerns about the rainforest, the ozone layer, the warming polar regions, and the seemingly infinite other environmental or planetary health issues I'm aware of, disappearing mangroves were never on my radar before Let Them Eat Shrimp--to the point that I didn't recognize
Alex Tilley
An absolute must read for anyone; from those of you who always knew there was something up with shrimp buffets, to those of you who never cared enough to think about it. The author gives myriad reasons for why the destruction of mangrove ecosystems worldwide should be cause for widespread alarm, yet it is still far from a pressing agenda. This is an accessible insight into the beauty and absolute pricelessness of this ecosystem currently being wiped out by a market driven by cholesterol munching ...more
Megan Hart

Absolutely loved this book. It is a wonderful read for anyone that is interested in the plight of the environment and the unique ecosystem that is the mangrove forests.
Jul 11, 2012 Steven rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Steven by: my bookshelf
Shelves: ecology
Kennedy Warne has opened my eyes to the dynamics of mangroves, their local populations and the adverse effects shrimp farming has on both. You see over the past few decades shrimp farming has become a BOOMING business. Yes they produce jobs (often dangerous) and those of us in the 1st world countries enjoy a "limitless" supply of the "pink gold". However shrimp farms have another side to them. The removal/destruction of mangroves plus the loss of a major source for the locals livelihoods, food ...more
This was heartbreaking in the best way. Kennedy Warne writes with such depth of emotion for the hunters and gatherers in this book. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the global food system and ecological issues.

Although the author traveled around the planet, telling the story of individual mangroves, the stories felt a bit redundant. Although I am not a fan of farm raised shrimp and sea-side golf courses, I would have liked the book to have shown the perspective of these enterprises, instead of just categorically labeling them as evil. It is a bit insulting to the reader to just approach this topic completely from one side. None the less, this book brings awareness to the plight of the mangroves, a su
Brilliant account of the current destruction of mangroves and their socio-ecological systems, people and locations around the world. Easy to read for non-environmental science folk and a great travel log at the same time.
Emily Tekolste
Later chapters were better than the beginning.
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“As Barry Commoner, US biologist and 1980 presidential candidate, formulated it in his Four Laws of Ecology:
Everything is connected to everything else.
Everything must go somewhere.
Nature knows best.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
“The extent to which the disappearance of forests over the coming century may be slowed, and the extent to which forests will be effectively managed over the coming century, depends first and foremost upon the extent to which governments devolve their jurisdiction-and ideally ownership-over these estates to the local level.
-Liz ALDEN WILY, development consultant”
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