January 26, 2007
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Dancing with Drunken Shrimp
Here are a couple of travel reports that mention shrimp. The first, authored by Jack Barker, appeared in an Irish newspaper; the second, I picked off of the Weird Meat Website.
Jack Barker: "Kung Ten", which translates as "Dancing Shrimp", is a specialty of Kaeng Kut Ku, a village in northeast Thailand.
It was an idyllic setting. I was resting on a wicker deck overlooking a set of rapids on the Mekong. The mountains of Laos filled the view. But something disturbed the peace: a pattering sound coming from my plate. My lunch was trying to escape.
Nervously, I lifted the plastic lid covering my meal: shrimp started to emerge on every side. I scooped up a forkful but by the time the implement reached my mouth it was empty, and a spicy Thai dressing speckled my shirt.
I looked around to see what others were doing, then covered my plate and shook the shrimp in their spicy marinade. The next forkful was more manageable: instead of jumping clear, the shrimp squirmed to escape from my fork. Fiery spices exploded in my mouth, and I immediately understood why the shrimp had been so keen to escape and why they were now so thoroughly stunned. Cooling my mouth with papaya salad, I shoveled another 40 live crustaceans into my mouth: there was barely a tickle on my palate.
The following was posted to the Weird Meat Website by Michael: You may have seen drunken shrimpusually cooked in beer, wine or liquoron the menu of a restaurant in your country. In Shanghai, China, drunken shrimp are served in a bowlalive and swimming in sweet alcohol. The alcohol makes them less feisty, but, with little claws, they bite back as you try to eat them.
Michael says: When the drunken shrimp arrived, in a clear glass bowl, I cautiously tried to remove the cover to take a closer look. The waitress held the lid down, explaining that the shrimp needed to have more time to get drunk and stupid. Then she poured me more beer.
After 5 minutes of mutual intoxication and toasts, the shrimp and I went head to head. Using chopsticks, I pulled out one of the larger shrimp and held it up for the camera. A long shrimp arm slowly reached out and pinched my finger. We laughed. Then I put the little guy on my plate and used my fingers to remove his head. The drunken arms struck out again, from the decapitated head, but slower this time. I then placed the slowly twitching body into my mouth and chewed. Tender and delicious. Soft and sweet. Live meat.
Sources: 1. Belfasttelegraph. Vroom with a view: Exploring Thailand by scooter (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/features/travel/article2158051.ece). Jack Barker. January 16, 2007. 2. Weird Meat. Shanghai Drunken Shrimp (http://www.weirdmeat.com/2006/02/shanghai-drunken-shrimp.html). February 26, 2007.
New Import Regulations and Prices
Hope Kearney, with a seafood store in Sydney, thinks Biosecurity Australia's proposed regulations on shrimp imports could lead to a 75 percent drop in the quantity of shrimp imported into Australia. She says imported shrimp are crucial because the local aquaculture industry cannot supply Australia's needs. Kearney says shrimp could reach $79-$94 per kilo. The Seafood Importers Association thinks prices could reach $55-$80 per kilo. On the other hand, the man behind Illawarra's largest wholesale seafood business, Mr. Musumeci, thinks these figures are wide of the mark. He says, "If you've got to pay $1,966 to $2,360 for testing a 7.5-ton container, it's going to add to the cost, but it's not going to stop anyone. People might end up paying $0.80 a kilo more...."
Source: FisheNews (an email supplement to Austasia Aquaculture magazine, www.austasiaaquaculture.com.au). Editor, Tim Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mixed Views on the Effects of New Prawn Regulations. January 12, 2007.
Three Rock Lobsters
The Rock Lobster Enhancement and Aquaculture Program within Australia's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) laid the foundation for lobster farming in the country. Now, commercial projects with three rock lobster species are underway.
The MG Kailis Group has produced juveniles of the tropical rock lobster Panulirus ornatus at its hatchery in Exmouth, Western Australia. Managing Director Alex Kailis described the breakthrough as a fantastic achievement that would enable the MG Kailis Group to explore a commercialization strategy. The group's Aquaculture Development Manager, Roger Barnard, said the breakthrough came through "dedication, hard work and expert assistance from our FRDC project partners: the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science."
The southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) has been laboratory-cultured by the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute in Hobart, Tasmania.
Production of the western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus) has concentrated on growing juveniles sourced from sustainable wild stocks.
Information: Alex Kailis (phone 61-8-9239-9239).
Information: Greg Hart, MG Kailis Group, Exmouth Boat Harbour, Exmouth, WA 670761, Australia (phone 61-8-9239-9212, fax 61-8-9239-9204, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.kailis.com.au/index.html).
Source: Fisheries R&D News (www.frdc.com.au, Australian Government). Kailis' babies make three. Volume 14, Number 4, Page 2, November 2006.
The assets of Nova Companies (Belize), Ltd., the largest vertically integrated shrimp farm in Belize, and Ambergris Aquaculture, Ltd., its hatchery, are for sale. Robert Garcia (below), a retired general who ran the Novelo's Bus Company during its period in receivership, has taken over day to day operations at Nova and is attempting to find new investors or a buyer.
If you have Google Earth (free, but you must download it from Google's website) installed on your computer, you can view the farm at latitude 17°, 35', 25.52" N; longitude 88°, 18', 24.78"W.
Nova Companies (Belize) is a located in Ladyville, about 13 miles north of Belize City. The site (approximately 5,000 acres) has approximately 2,200 acres of semi-intensive ponds divided into about 100 individual ponds ranging from 5-30 acres and averaging 25 acres. It has a 38,000-square-foot processing plant with a freezer and generator, and there's an office building, feed storage building, workshops, a laboratory/conference/training building, supervisor's quarters, worker's quarters and residences for two managers.
Ambergris Aquaculture, Ltd., the hatchery, is located on approximately 9 acres of land on Ambergris Cay. It has numerous buildings with a total area of about 65,000 square feet, a generator and a worker's dormitory.
In 1998, The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) provided a $9.5 million loan to the company to help it expand operations. In 2006, the company, FMO and IFC made extensive efforts to revitalize the company. The company suspended operations in early January 2007. IFC and FMO expect the shrimp farm to emerge from receivership as a sustainable business without any debt.
Information: Robert Garcia (office phone 501-225-2820, cell phone 501-621-5133, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.novashrimpfarmforsale.com).
Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Frank Kobayashi, Principal Special Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation (email email@example.com, phone 202-458-8856). Aquaculture Assets in Belize for Sale. January 24, 2007.
In 2004-2005, prawn farmers produced 38,720 metric tons of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, called "scampi" in India, from 36,990 hectares of ponds. Average annual production was 1.05 metric tons per hectare. The state of Andhra Pradesh (east coast) accounted for about 75% of the production area and 90% of the crop, followed by West Bengal, which produced 8.2% of the crop from 2,435 hectares of ponds.
In 2004-2005, India exported 9,400 tons of prawns valued at $84 million, 16% lower than the all-time peak of 11,154 tons during the 2003-2004 period. Domestic markets have increased over the last three years and currently consume almost 50% of production.
In 2003-04, over 92% of production was exported headless, shell-on, with additional exports of block frozen and individually quick-frozen (IQF) forms. The United States, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, and Indonesia are the major buyers of Indian scampi.
Mixed farming of males and females has given way to farming males only, with at least two cull harvests before the final harvest. Farmers stock 20,000-25,000 juveniles per hectare over an eight-month growout period. Farm yields range from 500 to 1,500 kilograms per hectare. With all-male culture, growth rates increase, feed conversions improve and the growout period can be reduced. Only 5% of animals are considered runts, compared to 15% in mixed-sex culture.
Stocked at 250,000 juveniles per hectare, nursery ponds have survival rates of 70-80% after 45-60 days. To increase survivals, farmers put folded coconut leaves in the ponds as hideouts. Skilled laborers "sex" (separate) the male and female juveniles, transferring the males to growout ponds and selling the females or stocking them separately. All-female farming looks promising.
Feed conversion ratios are 1.8 to 2.0:1 for mixed culture and 1.2:1 for all-male culture. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh have traditionally used commercial, pelletized feed produced by seven major manufacturers. About 25-30% of the farmers in the area use home-made feeds that incorporate locally available ingredients. They develop the formulas based on trial and error during one or two crops, then contract with local feed mills to manufacture the feed. Locally made feeds cost around $335 a ton, while commercial brands cost $580 to $710 a ton. Because results from local feeds are highly variable, commercial brands dominate the market.
Based on techniques developed by researchers at the College of Fisheries in Kochi during the early 1990s, successful commercial production of scampi seed began in 1999. Currently there are 71 hatcheries in India, 43 of them in Andhra Pradesh and the rest mainly in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. Installed production capacity is about 1.8 billion postlarvae a year, although the actual output is significantly lower than that. Many hatcheries are built with an initial investment ranging from $100,000 to $200,000, and, depending on market conditions, may also produce marine shrimp seedstock. Seed prices fluctuate wildly, influenced more by competing hatcheries than by supply and demand. The price per 1,000 postlarvae went from an all-time high of about $30 in late 2000, to $12 from 2001 to mid-2003, to below $4 in 2004, then up again to the current levels of $5-7/1,000. Postlarvae from wild broodstock captured in Kerala command a higher price, $8-9/1,000.
Compared to marine shrimp broodstock, prawn broodstock is reasonably priced at $60 for 100, 40-50-gram animals. Berried females over 100 grams from the Vembanad Lake along Kerala's coast go for $300 for 100 because they are thought to be disease free.
Domesticated stocks at commercial farms have been inbred for several generations and exhibit a general decline in productivity involving early sexual maturity, susceptibility to diseases and low fecundity and larval viability. There appears to be distinct genetic diversity among the native stocks of Macrobrachium species in the rivers of central Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Research is under way at the state agricultural universities and central Aquaculture Research Institute on genetic diversity, selective breeding, disease resistance, stock improvement, and hybridization of different prawn strains and species.
Source: The Global Aquaculture Advocate (http://www.gaalliance.org). Editor, Darryl Jory (firstname.lastname@example.org). Freshwater Prawn Farming in IndiaStatus, Prospects. Dr. C. Mohanakumaran Nair (Department of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries Kerala Agricultural University, Panangad, Kochi 682 506, Kerala, India, email email@example.com) and Dr. K.R. Salin (KVK, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India). Volume 9, Issue 6, Page 34, November/December 2006.
The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law and Administration in Non-Western Countries at Leiden University is looking for a Ph.D. candidate for a research project in the Mahakam Delta of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The research will concentrate on property rights and conflicts among fishermen, lumbermen and shrimp farmers. A good command of English writing is essential. Information: Dr. Jaap Timmer, Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9520, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Background: French oil giant Total dominates the business community in the immense Mahakam Delta, where it extracts natural gas. A study financed by Total shows that shrimp farmers have caused an ecological disaster in the Delta. More than 800 square kilometers (300 square miles) of mangroves have been converted into shrimp ponds, resulting in water pollution, salinization and the general degradation of the environment.
During the 1997/1998, Asian financial crisis, the Indonesian rupiah plunged to a quarter of its value, so shrimp farms, which export for dollars, suddenly became very profitable. Shrimp farmers and thousands of workers from Java and Sulawesi moved into the Mahakam Delta and developed shrimp farms. "Since the economic crisis of 1997/1998, people have been cutting all the mangrove, opening new shrimp ponds, without any restrictions or law enforcement," said Muhammad Najib, in charge of environmental problems for Total.
"The productivity of shrimp farming has fallen because of the damage caused to the natural environment," said Bahteramsyah, environmental official for the Kutai Kartanegara district. He estimates only 20 percent of the original mangrove swamp remains. Total's activities in the Delta have nothing to do with this looming disaster but the oil giant fears it will bear the brunt of the social consequences because of its high profile in the region.
Total president director Philippe Armand says, "We fear that we will be totally wrongly accused of being the source of the problem." Total has decided to take the initiative and has earmarked two million dollars over five years to promote sustainable management of the Mahakam Delta.
The company has replanted more than three million mangrove seedlings, organized a symposium on the risks posed by shrimp farming, and is training the villagers in more environmentally friendly methods of shrimp farming.
If you have Google Earth (a free download from Google), you can view the farms at latitude 0°45'57.66"S; longitude 117°26'13.75"E.
Sources: 1. Rumah Beasiswa Indonesia. [Netherlands] Ph.D. Position on Conflict of Interest Between Stakeholders East Kalimantan (http://www.rumahbeasiswa.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=779). January 17, 2007. 2. BruneiDirect.com. Tiny Shrimps Causing Big Problems (http://www.brudirect.com/DailyInfo/News/Archive/Dec06/261206/nite02.htm). December 26, 2006.
The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) is expediting the development of standards for organic shrimp farming and expects to have a draft of the standards ready by February 2007. Somchai Charnarongkul, deputy director of ACFS, says farmers, academics, shrimp experts and the government participated in the development of the standards.
Source: ThaisNews.com. ACFS expedites drafting of "Organic Marine Shrimp Production" standards (http://www.thaisnews.com/news_detail.php?newsid=202406). January 15, 2007.
TexasStatistics and Map
Estimate Farm-Raised Shrimp
Production in Texas in 2006*
43,400,000 15,969,386 702,229 38.80 185 Auswell Aqua Farm 17,216,116 7,199,470 348,873 41.82 84 Bowers Shrimp Farm 30,000,000 19,000,000 718,000 63.33 145 Bowers Valley Shrimp , Inc. 61,000,000 29,873,500 1,375,000 48.97 460 Harlingen Shrimp Farm 21,000,000 8,000,000 370,000 38.10 346 Junior Aquaculture Farm 18,000,000 8,424,000 312,000 46.80 72 Mengers & Sons Farm 70 0.1 Permian Sea Organics (estimate from 2005)** 1,000,000 700,000 20,000 70.00 20 Southern Star, Inc. 11,500,000 5,103,005 224,802 44.37 55 St. Martin's Seafood 51,400,000 21,851,292 890,673 42.51 220 TAES Flour Bluff (Bait Shrimp R&D) 945,000 320,000 7,000 33.86 2 Texas Seabreeze Shrimp Co. 2,400,000 1,003,579 42,000 41.82 12 Totals 257,861,116 117,444,232 5,010,647 45.55 1,601 * Source of Data: Dr. Ya-Sheng Juan, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Brownsville, Texas ** Permian Sea Organics' 2006 production could not be obtained, estimate not confirmed.
Information: Granvil Treece, Aquaculture Specialist, Texas A&M University, Sea Grant College Program, 2700 Earl Rudder Freeway South, Suite 1800, College Station, Texas 77845 USA (phone 979-845-7527, fax 979-845-7525, email email@example.com, website http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu).
Source: Emai from Granvil Treece on January 24, 2007.
Texas"Aquaculture 2007"Update on Bio-floc Session
There have been a few changes in the program for the Bio-floc Session at "Aquaculture 2007". I have posted the most recent version of the program here.
Source: Email from Yoram Avnimelech on January 24, 2007.
Daughter of the Richest Man
Local media has gone to great lengths to find the richest person in Vietnam. One newspaper listed Le Van Quang, president of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, the country's biggest exporter of shrimp since 2000, in the top five, with an estimate fortune of $69 million. With a $30 million fortune of her own, his 20-year-old daughter is now the most sought-after date in the country.
Source: ThanhnienNews.com. Media in search of the richest in Vietnam (http://www.thanhniennews.com/features/?catid=10&newsid=24263). Dai Doan Ket, Tien Phong and Hoang Bao January 15, 2007.
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