The University of Arizona

“Pink Gold Rush:” Shrimp Aquaculture, Sustainable Development, and the Environment in Northwestern Mexico

María L. Cruz-Torres


This article examines the effects of the changes associated with the neoliberal economic model on the development of the shrimp aquaculture industry in Mexico. It uses a political ecology approach to analyze the relationship between state policies, recent expansion of the industry, and the environment in Sinaloa, Mexico.  The analysis reveals the ways in which shrimp aquaculture is currently having a negative impact upon coastal ecosystems and rural people. It also shows how a local resistance to the industry’s expansion is emerging, and the role played by fishing cooperatives in this  process. The article proposes that in order to achieve the sustainable development of the shrimp industry, special attention should be given to environmental and social factors as well.

Keywords: Mexico, shrimp framing, environmental degradation,  sustainable development, coastal ecosystems, political ecology, 

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