Shrimp are small crustaceans that are found all over the world. There are thousands of species of shrimp, all adapted to various environments. Unlike crabs and lobsters, they are adapted more for swimming rather than walking on the ocean floor.


Shrimp are found in saltwater and freshwater environments from the tropics to the poles. They live near the ocean floor of most coastal and estuarine environments as well as in rivers and lakes. The majority of shrimp are marine (saltwater) species.


Shrimp consume plankton, plants, worms, small shellfish, and dead fish or crabs.

As a Food Source

Shrimp play a significant role in the food chain, providing a food source for not only many marine and aquatic species, but humans as well. Of the thousands of shrimp species, only about 20 are important to the shrimping industry. Aquaculture, or farming, of shrimp began in the 1970’s in China – where most farmed shrimp is produced today.

Shrimp also provide a significant food source for species such as whales, turtles, fish, etc.