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How do we know it's wild caught shrimp? [moved from Los Angeles board]

I just bought some wild caught shrimp, 1 lb. for about 13-14 bucks. I avoided Costco farm raised, because it's farm raised, but good.

So, how do i know that the seller is really selling me wild caught as opposed to farm raised. a chain store has more inspections, I would think. but a mom and pop joint can tell me anything. This is a very respected mom and pop grocery, mentioned many times on this forum.
I haven't cooked them yet. Just curious.

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  1. They should be required to tell you, and it also should be labeled properly. At least, that's the legal way here in the Gulf of Mexico. I would think it would be in California?

    What color are they?

    1 Reply
    1. re: chloebell

      Gray. I asked and they said from the CA gulf side.

    2. No clue.

      Yesterday I bought some $3 "wild-caught halibut" filets. I'm thinking: there's no f'ing way, especially because it's a Korean market. Rang it up, the POS said "rex sole".

      1 Reply
      1. re: TonyC

        I recently saw fresh Mexican halibut in the market, but it was around $30/lb, because the season has just started.

      2. More important than wild-caught may be country of origin. Recently I have seen so-called wild-caught shrimp from both India and China. Before things changed in the Catholic Church and Mass was brought into the vernacular there used to be an Irish saying when one suspected mendacity, "He will say anything---if he knew the Latin he would say Mass". Think of the claims on foreign-originating seafood and suspect accordingly.

        1. How do we know it's wild caught shrimp?

          Catch it yourself.

          1. Spot prawns are wild-caught. It would be far too expensive and prohibitively difficult to farm-raise them.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka

              Where do get spot prawns in the SFV, and do you cook them like shrimp?

              1. re: dennis7490

                Spot prawns are a deep water species found along the Pacific Coast. The lion's share of the catch (and then some) are sold to markets and restaurants that cater to the Chinese communities.

                I saw Spot Prawns at 99 Ranch in San Gabriel last weekend for about $27/lb. They are only sold live. 99 Ranch has a store in Van Nuys but I don't know the stock Spot Prawns. If you're still interested, read up on their prep cautions and requirements - lots of info available online.

            2. If you didn't catch them yourself or go to a wharf and buy them directly out of the hold there is no way of knowing for sure. The only fresh 'wild caught' (dragged off the bottom BTW which literally destroys every living thing on the sea bed) shrimp/prawns available are from 'day boats' that fish for a day or two then run back to harbor the sell the catch and get more ice. Generally these small catches are sold locally and I guess some are air freighted to buyers but that market is small. All other shrimp/prawns are 'flash frozen' on factory ships.

              1. Ask. Country of origin labeling (federal law) requires certain retailers (I haven't read through the entire statute yet) to identify the origin of shrimp (which is almost always frozen except for certain species that are caught locally). If you really want to know, ask to see the box/container. Whether the shrimp is block frozen or IQF, the container will tell you where it's from and, oftentimes, whether it's farmed or wild.

                As a general rule, most Asian shrimp are farmed. Tiger shrimp are nearly all farmed.

                In my experience, the best frozen shrimp are wild caught and, in California, we are lucky to get frozen wild caught Mexican shrimp (Mexican white shrimp are particularly nice). For people living in the Gulf/Southern states, you can probably still purchase wild, locally caught shrimp. When I lived in New Orleans, I would go out toward Lake Ponchartrain and buy what looked nice - depending on the season, there were white or brown shrimp. People sold fresh shrimp out of the back of their trucks - they had coolers full of shrimp.