Effects of climate crisis in Florida captures attention at DC film festival (includes video story)

An environmental film festival at the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C. highlights investigative stories about the oceans and climate change, with a focus on how they impact Florida. 

USA Today reporter Trevor Hughes investigated the challenges the fishing industry faces in different areas of the country, including Florida, in the film “Fishing the Four Corners of the United States to See Impacts of Climate Change.” According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. wild-caught pink shrimp, found in Key West, is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.

Hughes explained that shrimp imported from other countries are abundant, but many of these places have terrible environmental laws. They are farmed shrimp, loaded with antibiotics, which makes them cheaper to grow. Then they are frozen and shipped to America. Additionally, this has a negative influence on the economy. 

“If we don’t eat the products we’re growing here, we’re putting our own neighbors out of business,” Hughes said. “We’re taking money out of our own grocery stores out of our own communities, and we’re sending it to much larger corporations, usually in other countries.”

Mexican journalist Paola Martinez Gutierrez investigated the illegal capture and overexploitation of octopuses in her native country, which she said are exported to restaurants in Miami; consumers may not know this when they go out to eat. 

Other films showcased crimes on Chinese fishing ships and in processing plants, and the links to the global seafood market. 

Pamela Correa is a graduate student from the Journalism in Spanish Language + Multimedia Program. From the Dominican Republic, this proud island girl enjoys the beach, music and dancing. She majored in psychology, minored in sociology and is now looking forward to this new journey on the communications pathway.