July 20, 2007
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Hawaii—Big Plans for Hawaiian Farmed Shrimp
On June 27, 2007, shrimp researchers at the Oceanic Institute (OI), an affiliate of Hawaii Pacific University, began harvesting a circular growout tank that had been in production for 14 weeks. In previous harvests, they got about 1,000 pounds of shrimp from the tank. According to Clete Otoshi, a research associate at OI, this year they got around 7,500 pounds, with each animal weighing around 19 grams.
Juvenile shrimp, bred to thrive at high stocking densities, were placed in the 0.08-acre tank when they were about a half gram and harvested when they reached about 20 grams. That translates to 21/25 count whole shrimp per pound.
Shrimp from one of OI’s growout tanks is being sold as “Makapu’u Gold Shrimp” at Tamashiro Market in Palama for $5.98 a pound, heads-on. Guy Tamashiro said this was the first time his family’s store carried the OI shrimp. Previously, most of the shrimp he carried was frozen and imported. “It’s a beautiful shrimp,” Tamashiro said. “It has good size, a fair price, and it’s a fresh product.”
Shaun Moss, director of the shrimp department at Oceanic Institute, says the tanks were stocked at more than 800 shrimp per square meter. Moss said OI is working on a proposal with a company on the island of Kauai [most likely Kona Bay Marine Resources] and also one in the state of Virginia [most likely Blue Ridge Aquaculture] to buy OI’s technology. “Percapita shrimp consumption in the USA is 4.4 pounds, so there’s a huge domestic demand for shrimp,” he said. “But the domestic supply is very small, and most of the shrimp comes from overseas. That creates a $3 billion federal trade deficit, so there are strong incentives on a number of fronts to develop a domestic shrimp farming industry.”
|Dr. Shaun Moss at the World Aquaculture Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in February 2007.|
Moss said creating a strong USA shrimp farming industry is even more important in light of the ban by the USA Food and Drug Administration on farm-raised shrimp from China because of unsafe levels of antibiotics. The Oceanic Institute doesn’t use antibiotics in its shrimp feed or growout tanks and recirculates the water in the tanks. Moss said one major drawback for commercial shrimp farmers is the high cost of creating their own stock, adding that the Oceanic Institute already has produced the stock, and all it would take would be for a company to purchase it and the technology. OI’s super-intensive technology has a small footprint and relies on minimal water exchange. “If we can transfer this technology to a few private companies in the United States and people see that it’s a viable business, then we’ll see more and more players in the market because we really want to reduce the amount of imported shrimp,” he said. “We want to ensure that the United States consumer is getting a quality product, antibiotic and growth-hormone free.”
Shrimp farming in Hawaii is a small industry, with less than $3 million in annual sales [mostly shrimp broodstock sales to Asia] and making up just 10 percent of the value of the state’s aquaculture industry, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office. In 2005, 10 farms produced shrimp valued at $2.76 million, compared to 12 farms in 1998 with sales of $1.7 million.
Information: Clete Otoshi, Research Associate, The Oceanic Institute, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-3188, fax 808-259-9762, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.usmsfp.org/).
Information: Shaun Moss, Ph.D., Director, Shrimp Department, The Oceanic Institute, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-3310, fax 808-259-9762, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.usmsfp.org/).
Information: Anthony Ostrowski, Ph.D., Director of the United States Marine Shrimp Farming Program, The Oceanic Institute, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-3109, fax 808-259-3121, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.usmsfp.org/).
Sources: 1. The Honolulu Advertiser. Big plans for Hawaii shrimp farms (http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com). Curtis Lum (email@example.com). June 30, 2007. 2. Email from Clete Otoshi (above) at the Oceanic Institute on July 16, 2007. 3. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, July 17, 2007.
The China Syndrome
On June 28, 2007, the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the detention of all shrimp from China. The FDA will detain shrimp at the border until the shipments are proven to be free of residues from drugs that are not approved in the United States for use in farm-raised aquatic animals.
In his twice-a-month newsletter on fishery trends and prices, editor and publisher Ken Talley commented on how the China detention might affect shrimp prices:
The shrimp market will be the first to feel the effects of the detention of Chinese seafood imports announced by the USA Food and Drug Administration on June 28, 2007. Wholesale prices will strengthen until the supply situation settles out, but the disruption should be mild. FDA has called for the “detention without physical examination” until shipments are proven drug-free. China has become a major supplier of low-priced shrimp, mostly farmed, to the USA. In 2006, it exported 150.3 million pounds of shrimp (all product forms) to the USA, making it the number two supplier behind Thailand.
In early 2005, the dumping decision forced China to move to other markets and other product forms. Thus, China saw its breaded shrimp become an ever larger part of its exports to the USA. Last year, China sent 87.7 million pounds of breaded shrimp to the USA, about 58.8% of total Chinese shrimp imports and fully 80.7% of all USA breaded shrimp imports. With the current detention order, that will change because all product forms are subject to detention. Many Chinese packers will simply abandon the USA market to avoid the risk of detention and possible rejection of shipments. Those that decide to keep sending shrimp to the USA will face major financial risks and lengthy delays, which will add to processors’ overall costs. At first glance, then, this suggests that shrimp prices will rise as Chinese shipments decline—but only in the short term because Chinese shrimp imports represent only 11.5% of total shrimp imports. Plenty of other foreign producers will step up and cover the shortfall. USA importers will have to scramble in the short-term to buy similar goods to replace Chinese product. This will give other Asian producers, as well as rising Latin American producers, new openings to the USA market.
John Sackton, who publishes an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service, posted the following report on the China detention:
On July 9, 2007, a group of consumer advocates in Washington held a news conference to criticize the FDA decision to allow China to test its own products.
Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, said, “We had a problem with the fact that FDA is going to allow China to be one of the certifiers, since they have done such a poor job of certifying the safety of seafood in the past.”
Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said, “There is a question of whether laboratories in China are the best place to provide the certification, given the history of problems...that have been documented from products coming from China. The FDA should be looking for additional assurances that the lab results are trustworthy. If they are just accepting the results and not making sure the lab is using the appropriate methods, then that is a problem,” she said.
Chris Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America, echoed the complaint. “I don’t know if FDA is accepting this on faith or if it is actually looking at the lab that is providing the information,” he said.
The FDA strategy has been to build a trusting relationship with the Chinese laboratories and inspection systems. David Achesonas, FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection, says that for the system to work, USA and Chinese agencies have to trust each other. The FDA has plans to spot-check the work of outside laboratories.
Sackton says The Washington Post reported on the following strategies of several major retailers and importers regarding Chinese seafood:
H&N Foods International, an importer in Los Angeles, began replacing its products from China, which made up about 5 percent of its business, at least two months ago, said Christine Ngo, the company’s executive vice president. The “antibiotic issue had been stirring for the last year and a half,” she said.
Supervalu, which owns more than a dozen grocery chains, including Albertsons and Shaw’s, said it imports less than four percent of its seafood from China.
Whole Foods, which imports two percent of its seafood from China, said it sells a small amount of frozen shrimp from China. “We’re not concerned about the less than two percent. It’s business as usual for us,” said Ashley Hawkins, a Whole Foods spokeswoman.
The New York Times Reports: “When it comes to seafood safety in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is the thin red line between the public and the fish farmers of the world. While the United States Department of Agriculture has the mandate for certifying meat, FDA is responsible for inspecting imported seafood.”
“Every year about 6.6 million tons of seafood are imported into the United States from 160 different countries. That’s a lot of fish: the frozen shrimp alone would make a shrimp cocktail the size of the Sears Tower.”
“If you want to spend a sobering half hour, go to the import alerts section of the FDA’s web site. There you will find...shrimp from Thailand rejected because of salmonella (in fact, 40 percent of rejections for salmonella were for shrimp).... Most troubling is the number of rejections because of banned veterinary drugs and antibiotics like chloramphenicol, a cause of aplastic anemia, and nitrofurans, which are suspected carcinogens.”
“In May 2007, 48 seafood shipments from China were rejected. According to the nonprofit group Food and Water Watch, of the 860,000 separate seafood shipments imported into the United States, a mere 1.34 percent were physically inspected and only 0.59 percent ever made it into a lab for more rigorous testing. To put this in perspective: if the FDA were responsible for inspecting that 108-story tower of shrimp, it would barely make it past the second floor before calling it quits.”
“The European Union has a fully functioning food safety system, but looking at its food alerts web site is sobering for another reason: it gives you an idea of how much unsafe seafood the FDA isn’t catching. The European Union physically inspects at least 20 percent of all imported seafood, and when a product is proving problematic—when they’re finding too much salmonella in Vietnamese shrimp, for example—inspection increases to 100 percent until the problem is resolved.”
“Part of the problem is keeping up with the tremendous growth in seafood imports. The spread of the so-called blue revolution, as fish farming is known, has been explosive in Asia, particularly in China. Last year, China supplied America with 75,000 tons of farmed shrimp—beating out Thailand as the world’s leading shrimp exporter—and now supplies 22 percent of the nation’s seafood.”
“In 2006, 60 percent of the seafood that was refused entry into the United States because of veterinary drug residues, including antibiotics like chloramphenicol and nitrofurans, came from China.”
“In the meantime, rather than swearing off fish altogether, remember that excellent seafood is being produced domestically, often in ecologically sound ways, often at only a slight premium over imported prices. American aquaculturists are farming organic shrimp in the desert, growing tilapia in indoor tanks and reseeding the Chesapeake Bay with oysters. Now is the perfect time to splurge on quality.”
New Zealand Will Not Ban Chinese Shrimp: Sandra Daly, deputy chief executive of New Zealand’s Food Safety Authority, says it has no intention of banning shrimp from China. She says the chemicals found by USA authorities were barely detectable, adding that New Zealand will keep a close eye on what other international food organizations do and will carry out its own investigations. Sue Kedgely, spokesperson for New Zealand’s Green Party, says New Zealand imported 937 tons of farmed seafood, mainly shrimp and prawns, in 2006. None of it was tested. She says imports should be stopped until there is proof that the food is not contaminated.
Sources: 1. Seafood Trend Newsletter (independent coverage of the seafood market since 1984; 8227 Ashworth Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103-4434 USA, phone 206-523-2280, fax 206-526-8719, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Editor, Ken Talley. July 9, 2007. 2. Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Critics say FDA China Import Alert does not go far enough. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email email@example.com). July 10, 2007. 3. The New York Times. Op-Ed Page. Catfish With a Side of Scombroid. Taras Grescoe. July 15, 2007. 4. Radio New Zealand News. The Food Safety Authority says it will not stop imports of Chinese farmed shrimp and prawns despite a United States ban on the seafood because of a health scare (http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200707091949/food_safety_authority_wont_follow_us_ban_on_chinese_seafood). July 9, 2007.
Bangladesh earns $362.86 million annually from the export of shrimp. The shrimp sector has created employment, increased income and promoted the livelihoods of the people who farm, trade, process and export shrimp. Shrimp farming and related activities provide employment for about one million people. About 170,000 hectares of coastal area are under brackish water shrimp farming (Penaeus monodon) and about 30,000 hectares under freshwater prawn farming (Macrobrachium species), producing a total of some 66,000 tons of shrimp per year, which is about 5% of global production. Bangladesh ranks sixth in the world in the production of shrimp.
Information: John Cooksey, World Aquaculture Conference Management, P.O. Box 2302, Valley Center, CA 92082 USA (phone 760-751-5005, fax 760-751-5003, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.was.org).
Source: World Aquaculture Society. The CD of the Aqua 2007 Abstracts (San Antonio, Texas, USA, February/March 2007). Sustainability of Export-Oriented Shrimp Farming Industry in Bangladesh: Productivity Enhancement and Compliances of Buyers’ Requirement in International Markets. Md. Liaquat Ali, D. L. Mallick and Sarder Shafiqul Alam.
In early July 2007, in the Satkhira District of southwest Bangladesh, floods caused by monsoonal rains washed shrimp worth $725,000 into the Bay of Bengal.
Source: China Daily. Over 1 million USD shrimps, fish washed away in Bangladesh (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2007-07/07/content_912544.htm). July 7, 2007.
Salinity in Shrimp Hatcheries
This discussion took place on the Shrimp List (below) on July 7-9, 2007.
Ghobad Mokarami (email@example.com): I need information on the preferred salinities for hatching penaeid shrimp.
Laurence Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org): 28 parts per thousand salinity would be the minimum. Ideally, keep it at 30 ppt.
Alec Forbes (email@example.com): I prefer full strength ocean water (34 ppt) for Penaeus indicus, P. merguiensis, P. stylirostris, P. vannamei—and especially for P. monodon. Mind you, there are papers, articles and claims about using much lower salinities, almost fresh water in some cases, but I would not give them much credence. If you are going to grow saltwater animals, then use saltwater!
Ghobad Mokarami (firstname.lastname@example.org): I need some documents, articles or scientific papers that clearly state that penaeid eggs will not hatch naturally in salinities under 20 ppt.
Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers, “email@example.com”). July 7-9, 2007.
Happy Shrimp Farm, the brainchild of entrepreneurs Gilbert Curtessi and Sebastian “Bas” Greiner, uses a big greenhouse and 24 recirculating raceways to raise western white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in 29ºC water, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It hopes to harvest its first crop in September 2007, and 60 tons a year after that. Located next to a power plant, the farm uses the plant’s waste heat to warm its raceways. “We installed a 2.5-kilometer pipeline to the power plant, and we recover the residual heat from the industrial process, not the cooling water because that is not warm enough,” said Curtessi.
He says the farm will be the only company in northern Europe that can deliver “fresh” tropical shrimp. “Our objective is to set up another 20 shrimp farms worldwide in the next five years,” said Curtessi, who added he already had contacts in Germany, the United States and Canada. “We need big cities where you can find both residual industrial heat and a consumer market for fresh shrimp,” he said.
In July 2007, the farm will start a trial to raise edible algae in water from the shrimp raceways. Curtessi said they will start with two varieties, glasswort and sea lavender, both used in Dutch cuisine to accompany fish dishes. More a delicacy than an everyday “veggie,” they will be marketed to upscale restaurants. “We could grow them all year and deliver the algae to restaurants with the roots attached, which will guarantee that they are fresh,” Curtessi said.
Information: Gilbert Curtessi and Sebastian Greiner, Happy Shrimp Farm, Postbus 30086, 3001 DB Rotterdam, The Netherlands (phone 31-6-430-50426, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.happyshrimp.nl).
Source: Cooltech Iafrica.com. Features/Raising shrimp with recycled heat (http://cooltech.iafrica.com/features/192236.htm). Alix Rijckaert. July 9, 2007.
Shrimp Farm For Sale
In business since 2000 and located in the southern province of Trad, this 11-hectare shrimp farm has six full-time employees and makes a profit of about $10,000 a month on revenues of $42,000.
Source: GlobalBX. Shrimp Farm with Land (http://www.globalbx.com/listing.asp?bId=66223). No Date (posted early July 2007?).
Arizona—Funding and Earmarks
Representative Raúl Grijalva’s $178 million list of congressional earmark requests includes six million dollars for shrimp farming at the University of Arizona. Grijalva, a third-term Democrat, represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional District, which covers most of southwest Arizona, including Tucson. Grijalva is one of only a few dozen members of Congress to release his earmark requests. The earmark process tacks spending projects onto House and Senate bills, rather than through the normal appropriations process.
Source: The Arizona Daily Star. Grijalva releases his wish list for project funding (http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/politics/190639.php). Daniel Scarpinato (phone 520-307-4339, email email@example.com). July 6, 2007.
Washington, D.C.—Shrimp Consumption Sets Record in 2006
On June 8, 2007, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) announced that shrimp consumption rose to a record 4.4 pounds in 2006.
Source: Email from Intrafish.com (firstname.lastname@example.org, an online, subscription-based news service) to Shrimp News International. Subject: Breaking News/Top Ten: Shrimp consumption grows; tilapia surpasses catfish. June 9, 2007.
Wanted—Detection Kit for Shrimp Viruses
We are looking for a test kit for the fast detection of IHHNV (and other shrimp viruses) in the field.
Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers, “email@example.com”). Subject: [shrimp] Information Kit Dot Blot for IHHNV and TSV From Venezuela. From: firstname.lastname@example.org. July 10, 2007.
Japan, the European Union and the USA are major destinations for Vietnamese seafood. Market analyst Truong Tri Vinh predicts that, in 2007, Vietnamese shrimp exports will grow by 6-7% over 2006 and be valued at $1.65 billion.
Source: The Financial Express. Vietnam ready to cast the net in seafood sector (http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=169495). Ashok Sharma. July 9, 2007.
Japan Threatens to Ban Shrimp from Vietnam, Again
Again, Japanese authorities threaten to ban imports of Vietnamese farmed shrimp because some of it has tested positive for antibiotics (chloramphenicol, nitrofuran derivatives, AOZ and SEM). The Japanese have already sent warning letters to 48 Vietnamese exporters.
According to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the first six months of 2007, some 6,000 seafood consignments were shipped to Japan. Japanese authorities found prohibited substances in 94 (1.6%) of them. Of the 94 consignments with prohibited substances, 54 were shrimp consignments.
VASEP has asked the government to impose heavy punishments on exporters that ship unsafe shrimp. On July 3, 2007, Tran Thien Hai, VASEP Chairman, sent a notice to the Minister of Fisheries declaring a state of emergency for seafood exports and proposing stricter controls on exports to Japan.
Source: Vietnam Net Bridge. Seafood exports: urgent measures hoped to remedy situation (http://english.vietnamnet.vn/biz/2007/07/714521/). Ha Yen. July 5, 2007.
Will Check All Shrimp Exports to Japan
On July 3, 2007, Luong Le Phuong, Deputy Minister of Fisheries, said that all seafood products to Japan would be checked to ensure that they are free of antibiotic residues and banned chemicals.
Source: Nhan Dan. Vietnam to test all seafood destined for Japan for chemicals (http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/business/050707/business_vnt.htm). July 5, 2007.