Differences between farm-raised and wild-caught shrimp

January 27, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Hand holding shrimp in the air

Whether in a cocktail, tossed in salads, or served in skewers, shrimp is a classic part of the American cuisine. If you prepare your own food, you’ve likely come across the age-old debate — should you buy wild-caught shrimp or farm-raised?

At Tommy’s Seafood, we want you to have all the information needed to make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know.

What is wild-caught shrimp?

They’re exactly as their name suggests — wild-caught shrimp are shrimp that have been captured in their natural habitats. Armed with nets, trolling lines, and other specialized equipment, fishermen brave the untamed oceans to bring back sustainably-caught shrimps.

What is farm-raised shrimp?

Again, it’s all in the name. These shrimps are raised on a farm and then harvested to be exported and then sold in stores. Shrimp farms are set up in controlled and confined areas to maximize the growth of the shrimp and limit infections.

Farm-raised shrimp vs wild-caught: there's a clear winner

It’s wild-caught shrimp. Here’s why:

Safer and better for your health

Not all shrimp sold in the market are just shrimp. Some farm-raised shrimps have been exposed to chemicals or injected with a variety of hormones and pesticides to keep them edible.

When shrimp exposed to these chemicals and injected with artificial hormones are consumed by people, these could lead to detrimental health effects such as allergic reaction or worse, infections and neurological disorders.

With wild-caught shrimp, however, you get premium quality shrimp that’s all-natural, which in turn makes it a better option for your health. At Tommy’s, you rest easy knowing that the shrimp you’re eating has no artificial chemicals, additives, or any other hormones.

Superior taste

Since wild shrimp live freely in the ocean, they get their nutrients from the natural environment — giving it an original ‘shrimpy’ flavor, texture, and taste.

Farm-raised shrimp on the other hand grow in aquariums and are cultivated with chemicals to keep them edible. This is the reason why farm-raised shrimp are often rubbery in texture.


For some shrimp lovers, there isn't much difference in taste, but for true connoisseurs, the taste superiority of wild-caught shrimp is clear as day. Aside from the natural flavor, wild-caught shrimp are better bodied in terms of texture since they grow in their natural environment.

More sustainable for the environment

Farm-raised shrimp are grown in complex aquarium systems that require the use of chemicals to maintain. The waste products from these industrial farms are not good for the environment. Most even end up back in the oceans, polluting them and causing further ecological damage.

Wild-caught shrimp have grown in the wild. There’s no chemical waste product from their natural habitats.

Value for money

Where price is a huge factor, farm-raised shrimp take the win. In truth, wild-caught shrimp cost a tad more than farmed shrimp. This is mainly because of all the specialized processes involved in catching wild seafood. There are also tight regulations (as they rightly should) about wild-caught seafood.

Farm-raised shrimp, on the other hand, are largely imported from countries where the regulations may not be as stringent.

So while they may cost more, wild-caught shrimp do offer more value for money.

Get your quality shrimp at Tommy’s

Tommy’s Seafood has been providing only the finest wild-caught shrimp and seafood from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf Coast for the past 30 years. We’re all about getting you the freshest, premium-quality seafood. From the dock to the plate, we pride ourselves on doing things the American way.

When you buy wild-caught shrimp, you don’t only help the environment, you also support American shrimpers and processors who have been in the business of bringing you fresh seafood for decades.

Call to order!

Don’t compromise on the quality of your seafood. Give us a call now at (504) 271-9735 or email Info@TommysSeafood.com to order your wild-caught shrimp, oysters, blue crab, crawfish, and other seafood. You can also fill out our contact form and we’d be sure to get back to you.