A photojournalism project on the high demand of shrimp and the disastrous consequences in Bangladesh to ensure that the supply meets world need has been selected for the Greenpeace photo Award 2014.
Miriam Künzli, a freelance Swiss photojournalist based in Zurich who worked for The Daily Star under an exchange programme in 2006 for two months, has made the project.
During her stay in Bangladesh, Miriam’s experience and insights on the Bangladeshi culture, social structure and economic mechanism helped her to select the project and she titled it as ‘The Red Gold of the Sea’, more precisely, Shrimp Farming.
Once synonymous with luxury, shrimp has become a mass product; farms seek to meet world consumption increasing steadily. This high demand for the ‘red gold’ has negative effects on the ecosystem.
Millions of hectares of mangroves were destroyed in the world to allow shrimp farming in brackish water lagoons. Bengal tigers, river dolphins and other endangered species have their habitat disappear. The fish ponds are also contaminated with pesticides and antibiotics.
The objective of Miriam’s project is to demonstrate the negative impact of shrimp production. She, in her 2:32-minute long project, wants to show the changes of the environment and the destruction of nature, but also to portray the people involved.
"I want to draw the attention of the viewers in this ecological tragedy, the real price of things and the consequences of our wasteful consumption," she said.
Miriam was born in 1976, studied at the Fachakademie für Fotodesign Munich and trained as a photojournalist at the Swiss School of Journalism MAZ.