U.S. Internship / Volunteer Opportunities
Updated 8 June 2015
Mangrove forests are among the most bio-diverse habitats on earth and home to the last large wild population of Bengal tigers. They are also among the most efficient absorbers of carbon in the world, are the nurseries for marine life, filter out pollutants and prevent coastal erosion, thus protecting coral reefs and sea grass beds, and protect coastal communities from hurricanes and tsunamis.
But the world has already lost half its mangrove forests and the destruction continues, with one of the major contributors to mangrove loss being industrial shrimp farming in the developing world, where hundreds of thousands of hectares of mangroves are being cleared to create industrial shrimp ponds.
The Mangrove Action Project, an international NGO focused on conserving and restoring mangrove forests around the world, has launched a campaign called “Question Your Shrimp”, based in Seattle, Washington. The campaign aims to increase awareness and change behaviors around the consumption of farmed shrimp from overseas, which has proven to be so highly destructive of mangrove forests around the world and the rich ecology and marine life these forests support. The Question Your Shrimp campaign intends to fight this destruction through the power of conscientious consumption and ecologically responsible business. Our goal is for consumers, restaurants, and seafood retailers to sign our Pledge to not eat, serve, or sell imported farmed tropical shrimp, and thus halt further expansion of the destructive tropical shrimp farming industry.
Available QYS Campaign Internships (Seattle, Washington)
- Development and Event Planning Internship
- Journalism and Media Internship
- Research Assistant Internship
Want to help, but don’t have a lot of time? Have no fear; internships can be scaled down as volunteer positions to accommodate a smaller time commitment!
Did you know that 80% of the shrimp we consume in the U.S. is consumed in restaurants?
– That much of the cheap shrimp served at “All You Can Eat” buffets comes from crowded diseased-ridden overseas shrimp farms?
– That much of this shrimp has been treated with antibiotics and pesticides that are banned from use in both the U.S. and Canada?
– That due to unsustainable farming practices, overseas shrimp farms often collapse within 3 to 5 years due to pollution and disease, prompting the industry to destroy still more mangrove forests to create new ponds?
– That shrimp farming has been one of the main causes of mangrove forest loss around the world, and that this loss of mangroves is not only destructive to wildlife and offshore fisheries and reefs, but also releases huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere?
– That the tropical shrimp farming industry competes unfairly with sustainable wild- caught shrimp from the US and Canada, threatening the livelihoods of shrimpers from the Gulf Coast, the US West Coast, British Columbia, and Alaska?
You will be interacting with a dedicated group of professionals, volunteers and other interns also interested in food sustainability issues, the environment, and seeking to make a positive change in the world. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about MAP’s grassroots work restoring mangrove forests in locations like Thailand and in other places around the world where mangroves forests are threatened and you will learn what you can do to make a difference. Affected regions include countries in Asia, Latin America, Oceania, the Caribbean and Africa.
This is a great opportunity to think globally and act locally. You will also learn a recently developed formative research method, the Designing for Behavior Change Framework, develop your interview skills in conducting a consumer survey, and gain experience educating the public, and breaking down and explaining complex issues. You may use this experience to develop your qualitative and quantitative research skills. You can also learn more about the restaurant and food industry and gain experience at an international non-profit – all while advancing your passion for sustainability.
Depending on circumstances, we may be able to provide educational credit, references for future employment, and reimbursement for approved expenses relating to the position.