Growing Shrimp in Submerged Seacages in Mexico
The New Aquaculture is journalist Whit Richardson’s blog. With the help of a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists, he uses it to track aquaculture’s move to the open ocean and what that means for the industry, the oceans and mankind.
Here Richardson reports on Pesquera Delly, a shrimp farm in Mexico that’s farming shrimp in large, submerged, spherical seacages called “Aquapods”.
On November 10, 2009, Richardson Blogged: I came to Guaymas to meet Oscar Valdez, owner of a local fishing company that has traded in its fishing boats to grow shrimp. At its peak, Pesquera Delly had eleven fishing boats in its fleet. Now it has two. Valdez said shrimp fishing became less profitable as the wild catch fell and costs increased. He knew it was time to make a change. So, taking advantage of a government program that paid fishermen $100,000 for each boat they took out of commission, Valdez got cash for four boats and used the money to buy three Aquapods from Ocean Farm Technologies in Searsmont, Maine, USA.
In addition to the three large Aquapods that Pesquera Delly already owns, it’s also deploying eight small Aquapods to test various designs and configurations.
While feed consists of a large portion of the traditional shrimp farm’s cost, Valdez says he needs to feed the shrimp in his Aquapods much less because their diets are supplemented with food from the wild that floats through the cages. He says a submerged cage also offers a healthier environment for shrimp.
On November 17, 2009, Richardson Blogged: I received a call this morning at 8:00 a.m. from Steve Page, the owner of Ocean Farm Technologies in Searsmont, Maine. He had arrived in Guaymas the night before and was in Mexico to help Pesquera Delly deploy its Aquapods over the next several weeks. He dubbed the smaller cages MicroPods because their 27-foot diameter and 212-cubic-meter volume were dwarfed by the 64-foot diameter and 3,600-cubic-meter volume of their big brothers. Still, each of the eight MicroPods Pesquera Delly plans to deploy could provide up to eight tons of shrimp. That’s not a bad yield, given the fact that a local shrimp trawler may pull in, on average, 13 tons of shrimp during a six-month fishing season.
Steve was also in Guaymas to get an update from Oscar Valdez about how the project was going. Using offshore cages to farm fish is a new idea, but using them to farm shrimp is an even bolder endeavor. Valdez said, “In the beginning, when we began with this project, many people said, ‘You’re crazy.’”
Pesquera Delly already has one 3,600-cubic-meter Aquapod deployed off San Carlos, and it has already produced one harvest of approximately 13 tons, or 130,000 adult shrimp. Unfortunately, the expected yield was supposed to be 40 tons. What happened? Hurricane Jemena. It created strong currents that caused gaps between some of the Aquapod’s panels and allowed a significant number of shrimp to escape.
That trial run taught Pesquera Delly many things. “We need to change the design of the cage because it’s not fish, it’s shrimp,” Valdez said. One change that’s already been made: a new mooring system for the cages, based on the hurricane experience.
On November 20, 2009, Richardson Blogged: Gustavo Valdez is the son of Oscar Valdez, the owner of Pesquera Delly, and operations manager for the company’s nascent aquaculture division. Richardson interviewed Gustavo for this report.
Whit Richardson: Right now you’re still in experimental mode. You only have one Aquapod in the water. In the future, maybe five years from now, ten years from now, what will Pesquera Delly’s aquaculture business look like?
Gustavo Valdez: Our plans for the long term are to establish a series of three offshore farms: One here in San Carlos, where the Aquapod is now, another nearby, and we’re also looking at Puerto Vallarta. We’re already prospecting sites there and have started the paperwork to apply for a lease. That project will be much larger than the current one in San Carlos. It will probably cover 500 hectares, around 60 cages (3,600 cubic meters each).
Whit Richardson: What’s the Mexican government’s position on your project?
Gustavo Valdez: A government official tried to convince us to orient the project back to finfish because that is what is working worldwide. But there are some problems with marine fish culture in Mexico. Hatchery technology, for example, is practically nonexistent in Mexico. So, that was their first reaction: a reluctance to support anything that hadn’t already been proven. Over the last two years we have been able to shift the government’s perspective from total reluctance to partial support.
Whit Richardson: Are there adequate regulations for seacage farming in Mexico?
Gustavo Valdez: No. Since it’s so new there are no regulations at this time. So if we go out there and prove it’s a tremendous business, the risk is the government will not have the proper planning for what the industry can become. That’s the risk, so we have to be very careful on how we proceed.
Whit Richardson: Stay tuned!
For more pictures of the Aquapods, click here.
Information: Rosario Morales, Director, Pesquera Delly, S.A. de C.V. (a seafood processor and shrimp fishing company), Av. Serdan y Calle 22, No. 75, Depto 1, 2o. Piso, Centro City, Guaymas, Sonora 85400, Mexico (phone 52-62-2222-8870, fax 52-62-2224-3633, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Information: Steve Page, Ocean Farm Technologies, Inc., 114 Higgins Road North, Searsmont, Maine 04973, USA (phone 1-888-540-5554, fax 1-207-433-1300, email email@example.com, webpage http://oceanfarmtech.com).
Exports of Freshwater Prawns Resume to European Union
Bangladesh will resume exports of freshwater prawns, golda, to the European Union on December 7, 2009, ending its self-imposed ban on exports while it figured out how to get antibiotics (nitrofurans) out of its prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) shipments.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Bangladesh Will Resume Freshwater Shrimp Exports to EU Dec. 7 Following Hiatus to Improve Standards. Ken Coons (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email email@example.com). November 11, 2009.
New Shrimp Farm Backed with Dutch and Brazilian Money
Fabiano Lim, a fisheries engineer at Universo Pescados do Ceará, a Brazilian company with experience in shrimp farming, and importing and exporting fishery products, said his company is going to build a shrimp farm in Cape Verde, an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. He said, “We are going to bring together Brazilian technology and Dutch resources to build a shrimp farm on the Island of Sao Vicente.”
Lima said that the project was budgeted at $2 million, with 50 percent (non-repayable) from the Private Sector Investment Programme, a Dutch Government fund that provides resources for projects in emerging economies. Universo Pescados and Cape Verde’s Sucla, which specializes in fish processing, will provide the remaining $1 million, according to Lima.
“Construction of the shrimp farm will begin in January 2010, and it is expected to be operational by May,” said Lima, noting that 120 days after that it hopes to harvest its first crop. Lima also said that the farm would initially produce 80 tons of shrimp a year, which would later rise to 140 tons per year.
Source: Macauhub.com. Brazil Exports Technology for Shrimp Farming to Cape Verde. November 13, 2009.
Comrades to Build Shrimp Farms
The governments of Cuba and Russia have signed an agreement to develop shrimp farming, aquaculture, and the capture and sale of lobsters in Cuba.
Source: FoodBizDaily.com. FBD: Russia and Cuba Create Joint Venture in the Field of Fisheries. Eugene Vorotnikov. November 11, 2009.
Andhra Pradesh—Processors Only Buying from Registered Shrimp Farms
Seafood exporters in the state of Andhra Pradesh have decided not to purchase giant tiger shrimp from farmers that have not registered their farms with the Coastal Aquaculture Authority of India or the Andhra Pradesh Fisheries Department, a move aimed at bringing India’s shrimp into compliance with international standards. V. Padmanabham, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India in Andhra Pradesh, said, so far, 10,000 farmers in Andhra Pradesh have registered their farms.
Source: Business Standard. Seafood Exporters Go for Quality Tag. V.D.S. Rama Raju. November 17, 2009.
Orissa—Production of Freshwater Prawns Drops
Freshwater prawn production in the Kendrapara District of the state of Orissa has taken a beating and farmers are switching back to traditional agriculture. They blame prawn diseases and lack of good quality seedstock for the switch.
Sasanka Behera, a prawn businessman, said during the peak season five years back, the harvest used to range between 10 and 15 tons a week, but now the output has dropped to less than a quarter of that. Another prawn businessman, Ajaya Das, said little effort had been made to develop hatcheries for the development of quality broodstock.
The authorities have turned a blind eye to problems of prawn farmers, alleged Anatha Das, president of the District Fishermen’s Association. Refuting that allegation, a fishery officer said, “We are providing seeds, medicines and imparting training to prawn farmers of the district.”
Source: ExpressBuzz.com. Prawn Farmers Switch to Agriculture. November 9, 2009.
Global Markets Direct’s PT Central Proteinaprima Tbk - Financial Analysis Review is an in-depth financial analysis of PT Central Proteinaprima, the largest shrimp farm in the world. The report covers the following topics: history, business structure, executive biographies, major products and services, key competitors, subsidiaries, the location of key plants and financial ratios.
Summary: PT Central Proteinaprima Tbk (CP Prima) is a fully integrated producer of shrimp fry, farmed shrimp and aquaculture feeds. It is also engaged in the production and sale of poultry and has equity investments in other companies. It has a huge shrimp farm in Lampung (Sumatra), and production facilities in Surabaya (Java), Sidoarjo (Java) and Medan (Sumatra). It provides shrimp feed through six brands namely Irawan, VIP, CP, Marine, Bintang and Scampi. Headquartered in Indonesia and part of Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group, CP Prima exports its products to more than 20 countries.
Information: The report sells for $250 (ISBN = GMDCPG32370FA). Bharat Book Bureau (phone +9122-27578668, fax +9122-27579131 email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.bharatbook.com/general/customresearch.asp).
Source: BharatBook.com. PT Central Proteinaprima Tbk/Financial Analysis Review. August 2009.
World Wildlife Fund Says i-SHARP Not “Green”
In WWF-Malaysia’s opinion, the i-SHARP (Integrated Shrimp Aquaculture Park) project cannot be considered “green”. i-SHARP informed WWF-Malaysia about the project, and we used that opportunity to raise many of our concerns about the project.
The project developer was required to submit a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA), and by virtue of being a member of the DEIA Technical Review Panel, we provided extensive comments on the DEIA regarding adverse environmental impacts of the project. Severely concerned with the adverse environmental impacts of the project, we issued a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in order to bring the issues related to the project to his attention.
There are a number of reasons why WWF-Malaysia thinks the project is not “green”. To be “green”, a responsible aquaculture company should NOT locate its farms in environmentally sensitive areas. The i-SHARP project has clearly not met this criteria. Nearly 700 hectares of Gelam Forest, one of the most severely threatened freshwater ecosystems in Malaysia, is about to be cleared for the project. By siting the project in the Gelam Forest, the project has not conformed to land-use plans, namely the National Physical Plan and the Setiu Local Plan (2003-2015). Both plans categorize wetlands as Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Additionally, the Setiu Local Plan states that only recreational activities are allowed in this area.
In addition, WWF-Malaysia is gravely concerned with the proposal by the developer to discharge effluent from the shrimp ponds into the Sungai Chaluk River, an important habitat for critically endangered terrapins. As the project will be utilizing full-strength seawater for its operations, the pond effluent will be high in salt content. In WWF-Malaysia’s estimation, the project could potentially discharge up to 50,000 kilograms of salt into the river every hour, when operating at full capacity. It is doubtful that the Sungai Chaluk River will have the capacity to dilute this volume of salt especially during the dry seasons. This will have a devastating impact on the ecosystem and the terrapins.
Apart from high salinity, viruses might contaminate the effluent. Releasing contaminated effluent to the Sungai Chaluk River would have an adverse impact on the existing downstream aquaculture activities in the Setiu Lagoon, affecting the livelihood of the local aquaculture producers. The expected impacts of the project will also compromise the integrity of the proposed Setiu State Park. WWF-Malaysia along with other concerned parties recommended that the effluent be channeled back into the sea instead and not into the Sungai Chaluk River. Regrettably, the developer rejected this alternative and even more regrettably, the authorities have approved the discharge of the effluent into the river. Such a discharge will have a devastating impact on the river terrapins and drive them to local extinction, notwithstanding proposals by the developer to have monitoring programs in place.
WWF-Malaysia reiterates that it does not consider the project to be environmentally friendly or “green”.
Source: Wild Singapore. Setiu Shrimp Farm Not Green. Dato’ Dr. Dionysius S.K. Sharma, Executive Director/CEO WWF Malaysia. November 16, 2009.
Looking for Diseases in Wild Shrimp
The aim of this work was to evaluate the possible presence of viruses (IHHNV, WSSV, HPV) and bacteria (NHP) in wild shrimp sampled from Laguna Madre, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Shrimp from the Carbonera and Carrizal areas of the Laguna Madre were sampled from September 2007 to September 2008.
The species sampled (Farfantepenaeus aztecus, F. duorarum and Litopenaeus setiferus) were tested by PCR and showed no signs of disease and no viruses were detected. A number of samples, however, were positive for the presence of NHP. This is the first report of NHP in wild shrimp from Laguna Madre, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Information: John Cooksey, World Aquaculture Conference Management, P.O. Box 2302, Valley Center, California 92082, USA (phone 1-760-751-5005, fax 1-760-751-5003, email email@example.com, webpage https://www.was.org).
Source: The Abstracts of World Aquaculture 2009 (on CD). Evaluation of the Presence of NHP, WSV, IHHNV and HPV in Wild Shrimp from Laguna Madre, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Rafael Orta-Rodríguez, Gabriel Aguirre-Guzmán (firstname.lastname@example.org), Roberto Pérez-Castañeda and J. Genaro Sánchez-Martínez (Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Km 5 Carretera Victoria-Mante, Victoria, Tamps. C.P. 87000, Mexico). Veracruz, Mexico, September 2009.
A company in Saudi Arabia has jobs open on its farm and in its hatchery and shrimp breeding center for people with experience in quality control and assurance.
Closing Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009.
Qualifications: Graduate or postgraduate in Aquaculture, Marine Biology or Fisheries with experience in quality assurance and control. Job profiles will be sent to candidates who pass the first round of screening.
Information: Send your CV to Ranjit (phone 00966-557235658, email email@example.com).
Source: AquaNic (The Aquaculture Network Information Center, a gateway to the world’s electronic aquaculture resources). Jobs Directory in cooperation with the WAS Employment Service. Search jobs. QA/QC Officers - Grow out, Hatchery, Breeding Program (Shrimp). November 12, 2009.
Invents the Shrimp Burger
Businessman Sooveir Rajkumar says people love shrimp, but that with today’s fast-paced lifestyle, cleaning them is about as much fun as stuffing a water buffalo. So he invented South Africa’s first commercially available shrimp burger, a burger low in cholesterol with no synthetic binding agents. The shrimp are pre-drained so they don’t send out a torrent of water and shrink to nothing while they are cooking, and they contain a hint of garlic and coriander.
Rajkumar said, “It came to me that people love shrimp but find them a bother to cook. I had no machinery available and I didn’t want to use another butcher’s equipment, so I used the wife’s food processor and whipped up a batch. Friends and family loved them and that was that.” He markets them as part of his Boastful Butcher brand.
Source: Times Live. Prawn Again. Shelley Seid. November 15, 2009.
California—Shrimp News International, Updates to Free Reports Page
Hi, I’ve added a summary of a new publication on spiny lobster farming to the Free Reports Section of this site.
Source: Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, December 4, 2009.
Louisiana—Shrimp Fishermen Accuse Local Processors of Price Fixing
For the past decade, the shrimp industry has battled a rising tide of shrimp imported from Thailand, Indonesia, Ecuador and elsewhere. The imports have pushed down wholesale prices for the largest domestic shrimp to about $1 a pound, the lowest level in decades. Now, a fight has broken out between shrimp fishermen and shrimp processors. Local shrimpers accuse processors of price fixing, mislabeling imported shrimp as “domestic” and misusing a chemical (tripolyphosphate) that leaves them waterlogged and rubbery.
Processors dismiss the claims and say shrimpers need to bone up on economics. The USA is in a recession “and we have a supply-demand problem,” said Lance Authement, co-owner of Hi-Seas of Dulac, Inc., a shrimp-processing plant. For much of the decade, annual shrimp supply has outstripped demand by as much as 600 million pounds. There is now roughly half a year’s supply of shrimp in cold storage, well above norms.
Processors have angered buyers through the excessive use of sodium tripolyphosphate, a chemical applied to maintain moisture. In high doses, tripoly allows shrimp to absorb water, making them appear larger and thus more expensive.
Seafood distributors and restaurateurs say tripoly has destroyed the Louisiana shrimp brand. Bill Dugan, owner of The Fishguy Market in Chicago, said: “While the product coming off the boat is beautiful, the processors soak the shrimp in tripoly and the quality is compromised, and the weights are never true. I won’t buy from Louisiana processors.”
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Louisiana Shrimp Harvesters Accuse Processors of Price Fixing, Mislabeling and Overtreating Shrimp. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). November 16, 2009.
Dumping Duties May Be Lifted
At a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 15, 2009, Kenneth J. Pierce, a USA lawyer, predicted that a sunset review of dumping duties scheduled for early 2010 would end the duties for Vietnam.
Conducted by both the USA Department of Commerce and USA International Trade Commission, sunset reviews, mandated by law, are initiated just before the five-year anniversary of the initiation of a tariff decision.
This will be the first sunset review on shrimp imports and will be the best opportunity for Vietnam to obtain the lowest possible duties. The cost for a sunset review can reach $400,000 to $600,000.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the last administration review of Vietnam’s frozen shrimp products exported to the USA for the period of between February 1, 2007, to January 31, 2008, has been completed and shows goods signs for Vietnam.
Source: Vietnam Net Bridge. US May Lift Anti-dumping Tariff on Vietnam’s Shrimp. Ca Hao. November 16, 2009.
Floods Wipe Out Shrimp Crops in Central Vietnam
Residents in the central provinces struggle to rebuild their lives after being devastated by massive floods from typhoons and tropical storms that hit the region in late October and early November 2009. Many shrimp farms were completely washed out. In Khanh Hoa Province, the loss of shrimp was estimated at $11 million.
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