April 28, 2006
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Who's Got the Biggest Monodon?
On or about April 14, 2006, a fisherman on the Caribbean coast of Colombia caught what's been touted as the world's largest shrimp, a huge tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon, a nonindigenous, Asian species). Biologist Edilberto Flechas bought the 16-inch shrimp from the fisherman for $800. Although Flechas received some tempting offers for his shrimp, he chose to keep it for further study.
You can view pictures and a short video of the shrimp at http://wcco.com/pets/local_story_107084440.html. In the upper right hand corner of the window that opens, click on the little, blue "Play" button under this picture of the shrimp.
Luis Fernando Botero, Morrison Pump Company (USA and Colombia), reported to the Shrimp List:
In the late 1970s or early 1980s, there was a Taiwanese operation on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia that grew P. monodon. I seem to recall the project was closed down by local environmental authorities.
Chris Denmark, former operations manager at Sea Farms International in Venezuela and current director of purchasing for Latin America at Expac Seafood (a major shrimp importer), posted to the Shrimp List: In 2005, two P. monodon were found in Colombia (on the Caribbean Coast), one of them quite large, and a smaller one was found in Venezuela (Lake Maracaibo).
In an email to Shrimp News International, Denmark said: No one knows for sure where the monodon in the Western Caribbean are coming from. Some say they are the remnants of a population that was introduced into Venezuela more than 15 years ago.
Working in Tumbes, Peru, in 1988, I saw a large female monodon that was caught by a commercial trawler.
Seafood.com, an online fisheries news service, reports: A shrimp industry person says that there were experiments with black tigers in Ecuador in the early 1980s.
Lorenzo Juarez, a shrimp hatchery manager in Mexico, reported to the Shrimp List: Around 1988, I visited an intensive, Taiwanese-owned monodon farm on the North coast of the Dominican Republic, close to the city of Montecristi. I can't recall the name of the project, but I remember checking the wild catch from the beach fishery and finding at least one monodon juvenile.
Durwood Dugger, a shrimp farming consultant, posted to the Shrimp List: I have a similar memory of the Taiwanese operation in the Dominican Republic. In my memory, however, is the outrageous fact that this group was said to be intentionally trying to establish a breeding population of monodon in a local bay. The Taiwanese were not known for their scientific or environmental acumen during that time.
I know P. japonicus was in Brazil in the early to mid 1980s and there may have been some monodon there as well. I also believe there might have been monodon in Puerto Rico at one time. Since penaeids rarely live past 2-3 years, the shrimp caught in the Western Caribbean clearly came from a spawn during the past three to five years. Did it come from a hatchery or the wild? I have always doubted the probability of establishing nonnative penaeid stocks in the Caribbean. This is based on the lack of an established breeding population of vannamei there. Surely in the last 30 years more vannamei have made their way into the wilds of the Atlantic and Caribbean than any other nonnative. To the best of my knowledge, no established breeding population of vannamei has ever been conclusively identified in the Caribbean, or anywhere else.
Michel Autrand, a shrimp farming consultant in France, posted to the Shrimp List: Monodon is established along the west coast of Africa (Atlantic Ocean) from South Senegal to North Angola. I think fishermen there have been catching hundreds of tons of monodon every year for the past ten years. The shrimp are probably from the first shrimp production trials done in Senegal, Gambia and the Ivory Coast in the 1980s. One farm in Gambia is still producing monodon, and I don't think it has any trouble finding local broodstock. I'm not suggesting that nonindigenous monodon stocks from the west coast of African swam across the Atlantic to Brazil and Colombia. Obviously, the monodon in the Western Hemisphere came from a different source.
Werner Jost, a shrimp farmer in Brazil, reports to the Shrimp List: Over the years, we have found monodon in our estuary in Canguaretama, in the Southern part of Rio Grande do Norte. We have been able to purchase two live females (about 200 grams) from the local fishermen, but we have never been able to purchase more than one animal at a time. Once in a while, we hear that another animal has been found, but they are extremely rare and even a trial with special boats and equipment could not increase the number of caught animals. In 1984, I stocked some monodon that came from the Maricultura da Bahia project in Bahia.
Some years ago, I heard that fishermen caught some monodon in the region of Santos (São Paulo). These could not have come from a farm because there have never been any monodon farms in the area. The only explanation would be that they arrived in the ballast water of a ship.
Koygung101@yahoo.co.uk uploaded this picture of a big monodon to the Files area of the Shrimp List. You can access it at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shrimp/files/Pictures/Big%20Shrimpcropped.JPG.
Eduardo Velarde, a former shrimp farmer in Costa Rica, says, "I ate the biggest; it was at least 46 cm, at the World Aquaculture Society Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, January 1996."
The Shrimp List
The Shrimp List is a free, email-based, unmoderated, mailing list for shrimp farmers, which distributes information posted by one member of the list to all the other members of the list. Anyone can use the lists to ask and answer questions, to keep participants up-to-date on a conference, to coordinate a project, to pass industry news around--or to announce new products and services. You don't have to participate in the discussion. You can just sit back and read the messages that interest you. Your email address is not completely exposed, so you can remain anonymous.
The easiest way to get on the Shrimp List is to send an email to "email@example.com". That's it. You will begin receiving all the postings to the list. To post a message to the list, send your email to "firstname.lastname@example.org", and to unsubscribe, send your email to "email@example.com".
Sources: 1. WCCO.com (CBS). That's One Big Shrimp (http://wcco.com/pets/local_story_107084440.html). Two Pictures and Video. April 17, 2006. 2. The Shrimp List. Subject: Re: [shrimp] Re: Monodon in the Caribbean. From: firstname.lastname@example.org. April 24, 2006. 3. The Shrimp List. Subject: RE: [shrimp] More on World's Largest Shrimp. From: Chris Denmark (email@example.com). April 17, 2006. 4. Email from Chris Denmark to Shrimp News International on April 17, 2006. 5. Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Huge black tiger shrimp found in Colombia may have come from old breeding experiments in Ecuador. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). April 18, 2006. 6. The Shrimp List. Subject: [shrimp] Re: Monodon in the Caribbean. From: email@example.com. April 24, 2006. 7. The Shrimp List. Subject: Re: [shrimp] Re: Monodon in the Caribbean. From: firstname.lastname@example.org. April 24, 2006. 8. The Shrimp List. Subject: Re: [shrimp] Re: Monodon in the Caribbean. From: email@example.com. April 24, 2006. 9. The Shrimp List. Subject: Re: [shrimp] Re: Monodon in the Brazil. From: firstname.lastname@example.org. April 24, 2006. 10. The Shrimp List. Subject: [shrimp] New file uploaded to shrimp. From: email@example.com. April 19, 2006. 11. Email from Eduardo Velarde (firstname.lastname@example.org) to Shrimp News International. Subject: World's biggest shrimp??? April 19, 2006.
What's Good for Wal-Mart Is Good for Target, Kroger and Safeway
In November 2005, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and the Aquaculture Certification Council partnered with Wal-Mart [Yes, that Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world!] to certify that all of Wal-Mart's shrimp suppliers adhere to GAA's Best Aquaculture Practices!
On April 18, 2006, speaking at DePauw University, Charles Fishman, the author of "The Wal-Mart Effect" (How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works, How It's Transforming the American Economy), said, "Wal-Mart can change the way food is raised or people are treated around the world...so, if Wal-Mart starts selling shrimp that is environmentally certified, guess who else is gonna start selling shrimp that is environmentally certified? Target and Kroger and Safeway."
Sources: 1. PR Newswire (an online news service). New certification for Wal-Mart shrimp, Another example of environmental leadership (http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-17-2005/0004218647&EDATE=). November 17, 2005. 2. Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick. Author of "The Wal-Mart Effect" Speaks at DePauw University (http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=17677). April 19, 2006.
Following three years of trials, Sagiv Kolkovski, principal research scientist and project leader on this project, will soon begin commercial production of Artemia at Hutt Lagoon, along the mid-coast of Western Australia. Kolkovski hopes to use the quick-freeze facilities at the Geraldton Fishermen's Cooperative to process the product. He plans to begin supplying the Australian market in the next six months and move into international markets as the operation grows.
Source: FisheNews (an email supplement to Austasia Aquaculture magazine, www.austasiaaquaculture.com.au). Editor, Tim Walker (email@example.com). Commercial Artemia Production at Hutt Lagoon. April 20, 2006.
Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc.
Here's a short clip from a long news release that I pulled off the Internet. Only this clip mentions shrimp farming, but if you're interested in Belize, biodiesel or ethanol, I recommend that you go to the site and read the full release.
"Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc., is an agriculture, biofuels and commercial development company with operations in Belize and the USA. The company recently announced plans to break ground this year on a million dollar goat processing facility in Belize and aggressively market the world's most eaten meat throughout the USA, Central America and the Caribbean. Blue Diamond will utilize 3,000 acres in Belize and 1,200 acres in Oklahoma for a goat ranch, research center and processing facility. Local farmers in Belize and Oklahoma, under a cooperative agreement with Blue Diamond Ventures, will raise the goats and process them at the company's facilities. Blue Diamond's business plan includes ethanol production, tilapia and shrimp aqua farming and raising thousands of acres of soybeans. The company is currently completing an audit to get listed on the NASDAQ Bulletin Board."
Apparently, Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc., is located in Houston, Texas, USA, but I could not locate its street address. On March 14, 2006, a previous company news release reported that Eligio de la Garza, former USA Congressman (Texas) and Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, had been elected to Blue Diamond's Board of Directors. That news release named John Quincey Moaning as CEO and President of Blue Diamond.
Shareholders Contact Information: Robert Gasich (phone 1-877-295-3981, Extension 1) and Martin McIntyre (1-877-295-3981, Extension 2), Market Ideas, Inc.
Sources: 1. Marketwire. Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc. Completes Financial Audit and Takes Necessary Steps to File for a Listing on the NASDAQ OTCBB (http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=124571). April 24, 2006. 2. Yahoo!Finance. Blue Diamond Elects to Board of Directors Eligio de la Garza, Former U.S. Congressman and Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture (http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/060314/0113201.html). March 14, 2006.
On April 17, 2006, shrimp hatchery owners in the northwestern state of Kedah said they would cease operations if the Government failed to stop the smuggling of postlarvae into the country from southern Thailand. They said more than 70 hatcheries in the country were forced to close because of the smuggling.
Tan Swee Weng, 42, who has been operating a hatchery for seven years, said: "Of the more than 30 hatcheries in Juru and Teluk Kumbar, about 50 percent have gone bankrupt over the past two years. We sell one million fry for $1,890, but middlemen can easily obtain the same quantity from Thailand for $1,080 and sell them for between $1,350 and $1,620. ...We harvest once in 20 days whereas the middlemen can supply the fry daily." He said that Thai postlarvae were cheaper because labor costs were lower in Thailand.
Source: New Straits Times. Stop smuggling of prawn fry (http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Tuesday/National/20060418075524/Article/index_html). April 18, 2006.
New Tax Incentives for Shrimp Farming
Isabel Omar, head of the Aquaculture Department at the Fisheries Ministry, said the Mozambican Government would probably announce new tax incentives for shrimp farming before September 2006. Items under discussion: reducing fuel taxes and import duties on shrimp feeds.
Mozambique exports between 8,000 and 9,000 tons of shrimp a year, almost all of it wild-caught. In 2005, three shrimp farms produced 1,200 tons of whole shrimp (Penaeus monodon and P. vannamei) from about 10,000 hectares of ponds. One of the farms has French backing (in Zambézia), another has German backing (in Cabo Delgado) and the third has Chinese backing (in Sofala). Two new projects were recently approved, one with Portuguese backing and one with Chinese backing, both smaller than the existing projects.
Source: Macauhub. Mozambique government to define new policies for aquaculture (http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/news.php?ID=1171). April 20, 2006.
Shrimp Farm For Sale
The Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo) reports:
The Chinese group Weihai International Economic and Technical Cooperation (WIETC) is hoping to sell all or part of its shrimp farming operations in the central Mozambican city of Beira.
"As part of our company's strategy, we want to abandon, bit by bit, our fish farming projects," said the deputy chairperson of WIETC, Wu Dedang. "So we want to sell more than 50 percent of the company in Mozambique, since fish [shrimp] farming is far from our main business."
Wu described the group's main businesses as the export of services and labor, the construction of public works and other infrastructure, and the training and hiring of fishing crews.
"We would prefer to establish a partnership with a Portuguese company because this would make operations easier, given that Portugal is both a member of the European Union and shares the language and many common cultural values with Mozambicans," said Wu.
WIETC has been selling farmed Mozambican shrimp to the EU since 2002. "This year we shall sell over 90 percent of our production to the EU, mostly to Portugal, Spain and France," said Wu, "but our profit margins are very low because we depend on European middlemen to put the goods into the market."
He thinks that a deal with a Portuguese partner that placed shrimp directly into the European market would increase profit margins. The WIETC Beira operation covers 174 hectares of ponds, plus 100 hectares of reservoirs, a refrigeration unit, generators, a residential complex for about 200 employees and a storage area. WIETC, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, invested about twelve million dollars in the farm. Currently it produces about 450 tons of tiger shrimp a year.
Source: AllAfrica.com. Mozambique: Chinese Group Seeks to Sell Off Prawn Farming Operation (http://allafrica.com/stories/200604210595.html). April 21, 2006.
The 5th Shrimp Congress
At the "5th Shrimp Congress", scheduled for June 21-23, 2006, in Bacolod City, Negros Island, Penaeus vannamei will officially be introduced to the shrimp farming industry. The Congress will also include a trade show, shrimp farm tour and presentations on Penaeus monodon and P. vannamei farming.
Information: Dr. Juan D. Albaladejo and Maria Abegail Apostol-Albaladejo, Fish Health Section, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Central Office, 860 Arcadia Bldg., Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, The Philippines (fax +63 02 3125055, emails firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.bfar.da.gov.ph).
Registration: Congress Secretariat, Negros Prawn Producers Marketing Cooperative, Inc., NEDF Bldg., 6th Lacson St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines (phone +63 344332131, fax +63 34 4332131, email email@example.com).
Source: Aqua Culture Asia Pacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.aquaasiapac.com). The 5th Shrimp Congress in the Philippines. Volume 2, Number 2, Page 9, March/April 2006.
Two Scoops of Shrimp, Hold the Sardines
When it opens in May 2006, an ice cream shop in Portimao plans to sell "sardine" and "shrimp" flavors.
Source: Times of Oman. Sardine-flavoured ice cream soon (http://www.timesofoman.com/newsdetails.asp?newsid=28681)! April 20, 2006.
In response to a discussion on the Shrimp List, Durwood Dugger, president of BCI, Inc., an aquaculture consulting company, commented on a newspaper article about OceanBoy Farm's organic shrimp:
What most people don't understand is that an "organic" label is only useful at the retail level. The "organic" label has little consequence among middlemen in the shrimp industry. Until shrimp farms are able to market directly to the consumer, the "organic" label has little value.
You will note there was no mention in the article of how much organic shrimp OceanBoy sold at $8.99. Was it all of their production, or just a fraction. If there is one thing recent shrimp market research has shown over and over, it is that price is the overwhelming factor in the wholesale purchase of shrimp. Since only something like 5% of the shrimp in the USA marketplace is bought directly by the consumer, one would have to assume that this article might be for prospective stock investors. With that in mind, has anyone ever seen an independently audited report of OceanBoy's profits? If you can show decent and consistent profit reports of a large-scale shrimp farm using a totally organic marketing program--then you have something to write an article about. Until then I would view this article as what it appears to be--equity promotion.
Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers, "email@example.com"). Re: [shrimp] The only commercially viable U.S. producer of organic shrimp. From: firstname.lastname@example.org. April 21, 2006.