This web project is the culmination of a year-long investigation into the Thai shrimp industry undertaken by 10 students from UBC’s Graduate School of Journalism.                   

Our work started back in September 2009, when we embarked on the second year of a new course called International Reporting.

The School of Journalism began offering International Reporting in 2008. Funded by a generous donation from Alison Lawton of the Mindset Foundation, the course curriculum mandates that students find and tell the story of an under-reported issue in the developing world.

In its first year, another group of 10 students produced a documentary about electronic waste. That project won an Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism in September 2010.

Our class selected the story of the hidden costs of Thailand’s shrimp aquaculture industry. In December 2009, after months of research, we headed to Thailand for a two-week reporting trip.

We were thrown into the role of foreign correspondents and videographers. Our class conducted and filmed interviews with industry leaders and critics, government ministers, and the illegal migrants who are the backbone of the industry.

Upon our return, we spent months building a multimedia story, drawing from more than 100 hours of footage we shot in the field.

This fall we were able to partner with the Globe and Mail with funding from the MITACS Accelerate project. The Globe hosted a brief version of our story on its website as part of a special series on global food.

On this website you will find video reports on the four main issues related to Thailand’s shrimp farming industry: coral reef damage, mangrove destruction, labour abuses, and health consequences. You will also find a timeline, a site map of places we visited during our investigation, a photo and sound slideshow, additional interviews, as well as a sidebar on the human health consequences surrounding imported shrimp. We hope you enjoy.