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Kona Bay Marine Resources

Introduces Cold-Tolerant Vannamei


Kona Bay Marine Resources exports genetically selected specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) from its breeding operations on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, USA.  Its nearby aquaculture farm, consisting of 50 plastic-lined round ponds and a processing plant, is the largest in Hawaii.


Kona Bay is owned by Integrated Aquaculture International, LLC, an aquaculture technology company that offers products and services in aquatic animal health, genetic selection, farm management, nutrition, processing and marketing.


Taking a lesson from the more advanced field of plant breeding, where geneticists “stack” multiple traits within a single commercial product, Kona Bay Marine Resources has developed a line of Litopenaeus vannamei with a new trait for cold tolerance.  The addition of cold tolerance to existing traits for high reproductive potential, fast growth, and Taura syndrome virus (TSV) resistance is expected to improve production results in temperate regions such as China, Korea, Mexico, India and northern Vietnam.


Kona Bay has been a continuous supplier of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) L. vannamei broodstock from Hawaii since 1999.  In 2004, the Governor of the state of Hawaii awarded Kona Bay the prestigious title of Exporter of the Year.  In 2007, it received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to develop a new trait for cold tolerance in L. vannamei.  Encouraging results achieved in that Phase I research led to an additional grant for Phase II trials.


In the SBIR trials, the new, cold-tolerant strain of L. vannamei was compared to Kona Bay’s Kona strain, which originated in the Sinaloa area of Mexico.  The Kona strain was selected as the control because it is a fast-growing strain that is relatively resistant to low temperatures.


Tagged families were grown together at the Kona Bay facilities using replicated tanks of 24 m2 and 57 m2.  One tank of each size was maintained at 20º C, while the other was maintained at 28º C.  Temperatures, which were recorded every 15 minutes using a data logger, were maintained near target levels for the duration of the study.


Tagged juveniles of the Kona and CT vannamei® lines were stocked at 52 m2 and fed a 35% protein diet.  The tanks were harvested after 87 days, and growth and survival of the two groups were determined.  Performance results indicated that the CT vannamei® hybrids were superior to the Kona line in growth and survival in cool and warm temperatures.


The best performing individuals from this proof-of-concept trial were used as parents for two successive generations.  The resulting CT vannamei® line is a cold-tolerant hybrid of L. vannamei which also has high reproductive performance, fast growth at warm temperatures and TSV resistance.  CT vannamei® is expected to improve shrimp production in temperate climates where farmers face low water temperatures in the spring and fall as well as high water temperatures in the summer.


CT vannamei® broodstock are now available in limited quantities from Kona Bay Marine Resources for the winter and spring 2010 hatchery cycle.  Price: $24 per animal plus shipping.  Kona Bay has shipped throughout Asia to locations 40+ hours away and guarantees 90% survival up to 48 hours after arrival.  It adds extra animals (10%) to your order to offset any losses during transport.


Information: For further information or a quote for delivery to the airport nearest you, contact: James Sweeney, Kona Bay Marine Resources, 9663 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, Hawaii 96796 USA (phone 1-808-338-0331,  fax 1-808-338-0332, mobile 1-808-635-3342, email james4shrimp@aol.com, webpage http://www.integratedaquaculture.com).


Source: Email from George Chamberlain to Shrimp News International.  CT Vannamei®: A Cold-Tolerant Line of Litopenaeus vannamei.  August 18, 2008.



Classifying Shrimp by Their Genes

Big Differences Between Penaeus vannamei Broodstock Used in Chinese Hatcheries and Those from Broodstock Farms in Hawaii


Traditionally, morphological characteristics (the form, structure and configuration of an organism; its body parts) have been used to name and classify shrimp species.  Now scientists think molecular analysis of the shrimp genome may be a better way to sort out the tangle of shrimp names.


In this study, researchers used molecular markers (fragments of DNA associated with a particular area of the genome) to compare DNA sequence variations among several shrimp families.


Penaeidae Family

Penaeus vannamei (seven populations)

Penaeus japonicus (three populations)

Penaeus latisulcatus

Metapenaeopsis dalei


Solenoceridae Family

Solenocera crassicornis


Palinuridae Family

Procambarus clarkii


Palaemonide Family

Macrobrachium nipponense

Macrobrachium rosenbergii


All specimens were wild caught, except for the P. vannamei, which were obtained from shrimp farms in Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan provinces, all in southeast China.  Three or more individuals of each species were used for analysis.  Some of the wild-caught animals were not native to China.


Microsatellites (repeats of genetic sequences that can be used as markers) were present at various locations in the regions studied.  The microsatellite compositions of P. japonicus and P. latisulcatus were almost identical, and a special long repeat unit was found in M. nipponense and M. rosenbergii, which was unique in shrimp and requires further research to understand its significance.


The Penaeus species clustered into two obvious clades (a similar group with a single common ancestor and all its descendants) with a relatively strong bootstrap support.  Vannamei, merguiensis and indicus clustered in one clade.  In this clade, the population of vannamei from Hawaii was separated from those collected from southeast China with 57% bootstrap value support.  The japonicus clustered with latisulcatus in another clade.  For the japonicus in this clade, the populations from Zhejiang and Fujian were grouped together, with 87% bootstrap value support.


Separation of five Penaeus species—japonicus, latisulcatus, vannamei, merguiensis and indicus—was well supported by the phylogenetic tree developed by the researchers.


The researchers say their techniques work best at the genus or higher taxonomic levels and not as well at the species level.


The most interesting finding from this work is that there are considerable genetic variations between the vannamei broodstock from Hawaii and the cultivated populations in southeast China.  The tested vannamei populations from different aquaculture farms could be a recent lineage with close relationships.  All this may result from the fact that most vannamei broodstock in southeast China are selected from farm ponds because of the higher price and difficulties of importing broodstock.  This may result in species degeneration and may be an explanation for the decreased yield and quality of vannamei cultivated in southeast China.


Sources: 1. Aquaculture Research.  Phylogenetic Analysis and Species Identification of Popular Shrimp Species in Southeast China Using the First Internally Transcribed Spacer of Ribosomal DNA.  ZhigangWu, Junli Feng, Jishuang Chen, Shunhua Xu and Zhiyuan Dai (dzy@mail.zjgsu.edu.cn, College of Food Science and Biotechnology Engineering, Zhejiang Gongshang University, 149 Jiaogong Road, Hangzhou 310035, China).  Volume 40, Issue 11, Pages 1251 to 1259, April 2009.  2. Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia).  Morphological Characteristics, Microsatellites, Clades, Bootstrapping and Molecular Markers.  July 2009.



Country Reports


IHHN Reported


On August 26, 2009, through the Office International des Épizooties in France, Dr. Jamil Gomes de Souza, Director, Departamento de Salud Animal, Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuaria e Abastecimento, Brasilia DF, Brazil, reported the occurrence of the IHHN shrimp virus in the state of Bahia.


In July, samples from shrimp farms were sent to the National Reference Laboratory (LANAGRO/MG) to be PCR tested.  Results showed that samples were positive for infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis even though no clinical signs or deaths were observed.  The epidemiological investigation is on going in the area.


Information: For a copy of the detailed report—in English, French and Spanish—click here.


Source: OIE Mailing List (oie-info-web@oie.int).  Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis, Brazil.  August 27, 2009.



Potiporã Uses INVE’s Probiotics


Potiporã (owned by the Queiroz Galvão Group), a 900-hectare shrimp farm in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, has a hatchery and processing plant.  It can produce up to 6,000 tons of shrimp a year from ponds stocked at 18-30 postlarvae per square meter.  Its hatchery can produced 150-200 million postlarvae a month, and its processing plant can handle 45 tons of shrimp a day.


In 2007, Potiporã started using INVE’s probiotics in its hatchery and shrimp ponds.  It uses a combination of Sanolife PROFMC, a mixture of Bacillus strains from dry spores that are coated on the feed at the mill; and Sanolife PRO-W, a mixture of Bacillus strains supplied from dry spores and added directly to the pond water.


The Bacillus spores improved biomass, survival and profits.


As part of its investigation, Potiporã also analyzed numerous water and soil samples to find out what the spores were doing in the pond.


Bacillus spores eventually sink to the bottom, maybe as the result of biofloc formation.


Bacillus spores are known to produce exopolymer flocculants and laboratory tests confirmed their ability in improving floc production under the right conditions.


Bacillus strains have been shown to significantly improve the protein and lipid content of bioflocs and the growth of shrimp that feed on them.


Bacillus spores consume uneaten feed pellets and feces that sink to the bottom of the pond.


Bacillus species were selected for their ability to inhibit pathogens directly, but they also inhibit pathogens indirectly by competitive exclusion, occupying the same niches in the gut or water column as bad bacteria, forcing them to retreat.


• These data confirm the benefit of using specifically selected strains of Bacillus for their ability to degrade waste organic matter, improve water quality and out-compete Vibrio in the upper sediment layer of the pond bottom, the area of the pond where shrimp spend most of their time.


Bacillus spores continuously produce a wide range of digestive exo-enzymens that makes them especially suitable for improving water and sediment quality and for assisting digestion in the shrimp midgut.


• Most Bacillus strains require oxygen, but some strains can live without oxygen or at low oxygen levels, allowing them to live in the midgut of shrimp as well as in sediments that have no oxygen.


Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email zuridah@aquaasiapac.com).  Microbial Dynamics in Shrimp Ponds.  Marcos H. S. Santos, Tadeu da Silva, Jose Tories, Roseli Pimentel Silva, David Moriarty and Olivier Decamp (INVE Aquaculture Health Thailand, olivier@inveasia.co.th).  Volume 5, Number 4, Page 5, July/August 2009.


El Niño


The USA Climate Prediction Center says that nearly all computer models of the developing El Niño point to a moderate-to-strong El Niño by the end 2009.


Expected El Niño impacts during August-October 2009 include enhanced precipitation over the central and west-central Pacific Ocean and the continuation of drier than average conditions over Indonesia.


Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (link below).  See El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions.  Forecasts for the evolution of El Niño/La Niña are updated monthly in the Forecast Forum section of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin.  The next El Niño Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for September 10, 2009.  To receive email notification of it, click here.


For a background article on El Niño and shrimp farming, click here.


Source: Climate Prediction Center.  El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion (a downloadable PDF or Word file).  August 6, 2009.


Organic Shrimp


In the state of Kerala, India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has selected three ponds totaling seven hectares to test organic giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) farming.


Postlarvae for the test were certified by Naturland, a private body in Germany, and produced by Queen’s Hatchery in the Trichur District of Kerala.  Postlarvae were screened by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) prior to stocking and fed organic feed produced by The Water Base, Ltd., in Nellore, also certified by Naturland.  Proper monitoring of the farm was carried out periodically by MPEDA.  After 115 days, the farmer harvested shrimp with an average weight of 40 grams.  The first harvest was sold at a premium price to Baby Marine International, in Cochin, an exporter and organic shrimp processor certified by Naturland.


Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email zuridah@aquaasiapac.com).  News/First Organic Black Tiger Shrimp from India.  Volume 5, Number 4, Page 4, July/August 2009.



May Take 60,000 Tons of Illegal Shrimp off the Market


Because shrimp farmers in the state of Andhra Pradesh started growing Western white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) before the government legalized it, they may not be able to market their first crop, an estimated 60,000 tons!  Since the harvest will not qualify for the quality/approval tags from the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), the Fisheries Department or the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), it may be illegal to market it.  The harvest is scheduled to begin at the end of September or the beginning of October, but, so far, the agencies have not decided what to do about the illegal status of the shrimp.


The broodstock for the crop were smuggled into the country, so they were never tested for diseases and may carry viruses that could infect giant tiger shrimp (P. monodon), the most commonly farmed species in India.


Source: Business Standard.  Vannamei Shrimp Farmers May Not Be Allowed to Sell Produce.  George Joseph.  August 11, 2009.



Is the Growth in Shrimp Production Coming to an End?


On July 24, 2009, speaking at the Japan International Seafood and Technology Exposition in Tokyo, Setsuo Nohara, executive managing director of International Mariculture Technology, Co., Ltd., said global shrimp production has plateaued and will not increase much in future.


His presentation was titled “Promotion of Indoor Shrimp Production Systems”.  His company helped Myoko Yukiguni Suisan Company in Niigata Prefecture (central west coast of the main island of Honshu, latitude 37° N) develop farming technology for Penaeus vannamei production.  He said that larval survival improved from 20% to 85% by using deep-sea water.


He also said that glycine, an amino acid, contributes to the delicious taste of shrimp and that P. vannamei has double the amount of glycine found in other shrimp.


Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Japanese Expert Says World’s Shrimp Production Has Hit the Ceiling.  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  August 5, 2009.

United States

Washington DC—Update, Food Safety Bill


On July 30, 2009, in a major step toward an overhaul of the nation’s food safety system, the House of Representatives passed legislation to require more frequent inspections of processing plants and give the government the authority to recall tainted foods.


“No legislation like this has moved forward this far in decades to overhaul the food safety laws,” said Erik D. Olson, director of food and consumer product safety issues at the Pew Charitable Trusts.  “It’s a pretty historic moment.”


House passage sets the stage for the Senate to take up the issue, though probably not until the fall.  The Obama administration has voiced strong support for a comprehensive food safety bill.


The legislation seeks to remedy problems in the food safety system that have been discussed for decades.  Its chief sponsor, Representative John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, said it would “fundamentally change the way in which we ensure the safety of our food supply.”


The measure would require the Food and Drug Administration to conduct inspections every 6 to 12 months at food processing plants that it deems high-risk.  These could include plants that have experienced food safety problems in the past or that handle products that spoil easily like seafood.


Lower-risk processing plants would be inspected at least once every three years and warehouses for packaged foods at least once every five.  Backers of the legislation have complained that some facilities go a decade or longer between FDA inspections.


To help finance the inspections, the bill would impose a yearly fee of $500 on the food processing plants, with a $175,000 cap for large companies with multiple plants.  The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the fee would generate $1.4 billion over the next five years, covering about 40 percent of FDA’s costs in carrying out the expanded inspections and other requirements in the bill.


Among the bill’s other provisions are heightened inspection requirements on imported foods, a mandate that records of processing plants be made available to inspectors and investigators, and a requirement that processing plants develop elaborate safety plans meant to head off problems before they arise.


In addition, the bill would direct FDA to create a system that would better trace food products and ingredients as a way of quickly getting to the source of future outbreaks of foodborne illness.


Source: The New York Times Webpage [Free!].  House Approves New Food-Safety Laws.  William Neuman.  July 30, 2009.

United States

Washington State—Costco Not Guilty


A Manhattan attorney has picked a king-sized fight over a platter of shrimp—and lost.


In a class-action suit filed in Manhattan federal court, the attorney claimed that Costco’s “Shrimp Tray with Cocktail Sauce” contained only 13.5 ounces instead of the advertised 16 ounces.


The attorney conducted a coast-to-coast investigation that found that not a single $9.99 tray was heavy enough.


Judge Colleen McMahon slammed the complaint as “simply ridiculous” because the weight “took into account both the shrimp and the sauce, never mind the lemon wedges and lettuce also included in the package.”


“A reasonable consumer would understand that purchasing a ready-to-serve, prepackaged convenience item is different than purchasing shrimp at a fish counter, cocktail sauce in a jar and a lemon at the produce department,” McMahon wrote in the July 31, 2009, decision turning down a preliminary injunction.


Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Judge calls shrimp tray suit against Costco “simply ridiculous”.  Ken Coons (phone 1-781-861-1441, email kencoons@seafood.com).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  August 11, 2009.

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