Whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, formerly Penaeus vannamei), also known as Pacific white shrimp, is a variety of prawn (not shrimp) of the eastern Pacific Ocean commonly caught or farmed for food. It is the major species of farmed shrimp. Whiteleg shrimp are native to the eastern Pacific, from Sonora in Mexico to northern Peru. The main sources of whiteleg shrimp are Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil. Whiteleg shrimp sold in the U.S. market are primarily from Mexico and Ecuador. A small amount of whiteleg shrimp is now farmed in the U.S. (primarily in Texas)
Commercial culture of Vannamei is very profitable. It can be harvested in short duration of 45 days
In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the whiteleg shrimp (Pacific white shrimp) to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries."