Seajoy Shrimp—Good for the Environment, Good for You! It isn’t easy being green. We’ve been farming shrimp for almost 30 years—so we know. It takes complete commitment and total control. At Seajoy, we have both. A founding member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, we are committed to farming all natural shrimp using sustainable techniques. All our farms have been “Best Aquaculture Practices” certified by the Aquaculture Certification Council. And because we operate our own farms, hatcheries and processing plants, we have total control of the shrimp farming process, allowing us to offer organic shrimp certified by Quality Certification Services. Plus, as a geographically diverse producer with farms in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras, you can count on Seajoy to ensure your clients have a reliable supply of premium quality, all natural, value-added shrimp.
Can’t Afford Beef, Eat Shrimp
Greg Pankhurst, who manages Agrogiriperkasa, one of the country’s largest cattle importers and feedlot operators, says the global economic crisis has shifted local consumers from beef to cheaper options like farmed shrimp!
Source: MalaysiaKini.com. Live export trade suffering, as Indonesians eat less beef. March 13, 2009.
Freeze-Dried Polychaetes Work as Well as Whole Frozen Polychaetes
This study demonstrated that freeze-dried polychaetes were as effective as whole frozen polychaetes in promoting maturation in Penaeus japonicus.
Source: Aquaculture Science (formerly Suisanzoshoku). Effects of Polychaete Meal Supplementation to the Maturation Feed on Kuruma Shrimp (Penaeus japonicus) Female Broodstocks. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Manabu Ishikawa (Laboratory of Aquatic Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Fisheries, Kagoshima University Kagoshima 890-0056, Japan, phone +81-99-286-4180, fax +81-99-286-4184, email firstname.lastname@example.org), Saichiro Yokoyama, Fady Raafat Michael, Kazutaka Sakiyama and Shunsuke Koshio. Volume 56, N-4, Page 523, December 2008.
The Leading State in Shrimp Production
Located on the southwest coast of peninsular Malaysia, the state of Negeri Sembilan plans to produce over $5 million worth of tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) by 2010, which would make it the biggest producer in the country. Wan Muhammad Aznan Abdullah, director of the state’s Fishery Department, said the Department launched an integrated program to increase the production of tiger shrimp with a target of one million tons in 2010. He said the state produced $3 million worth of shrimp in 2008.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Malaysia’s state fisheries department supporting ambitious tiger shrimp project. Ken Coons (phone 1-781-861-1441, email email@example.com). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). March 19, 2009.
Organic Shrimp Farm
Sureerath Farm in the Laem Sing District of Chanthaburi Province, 220 kilometers east of Bangkok, is the first and still the only Thai shrimp farm to receive organic certification from Naturland, an organization in Germany that certifies organic farms.
Sureerath Farm’s organic certification paved the way for sales to a co-op retailer in Switzerland and an organic seafood distributor in Germany.
Prayoon Hongrat, 60, president of Sureerath Farm, said, “When I first raised shrimp, we didn’t use chemicals because back then the environment was still good, but after a few years, pollution got worse, and the shrimp got sick, so we used chemicals.” But Prayoon did not like the idea of using chemicals and began experimenting with organic feed meal and environmentally sustainable practices on his 224-hectare shrimp farm, saying, “By not using chemicals, the shrimp are healthier and their immune systems can fight diseases. Before, my shrimps died, and I lost a lot of money.”
Refusing to use antibiotics in his feeds or insecticides in his ponds, Prayoon switched to organic farming five years ago. He lowered stocking densities and began recycling pond water. Production costs jumped 30 percent.
The challenge now is to increase organic shrimp production in Thailand, something Prayoon said he would try to do in 2010 by setting up an alliance of organic shrimp farmers in Chanthaburi. He hopes the market for organic products isn’t wiped out by the global economic crisis. “I don’t think the organic food market will get smaller. People who want to eat organic food are more worried about their health than the higher prices they pay.”
Source: MonstersAndCritics.com. Thai organic prawns get a jump start in Europe. Peter Janssen. March 16, 2009.
The End of Vibrio
Anti-lipopolysaccharides are antimicrobial peptides found in crustaceans. In this study, shrimp were treated with one of the peptides and then challenged with a lethal dose of Vibrio harveyi. The peptide completely neutralized the V. harveyi, and 100% of the shrimp survived.
Source: Aquaculture. Abstract: Recombinant anti-lipopolysaccharide factor isoform 3 and the prevention of vibriosis in the black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon. Sirikwan Ponprateepa, Kunlaya Somboonwiwata and Anchalee Tassanakajon (email@example.com, Shrimp Molecular Biology and Genomics Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand). Volume 289, Issues 3-4, Page 191, April 16, 2009.
Gender Bending Shrimp Could Help Researchers Find Sex Genes
Dr. Alex Ford, a scientist at the University of Portsmouth, has won a $700,000 grant to research the mysterious ability of some coldwater shrimp to change sex. He will lead a three-year study to find out which genes are involved in sex determination by comparing the DNA of male, female and androgynous [somewhere between male and female] shrimp. The grant, awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council, will be conducted in partnership with Cardiff University.
Source: The News. Shrimps are good catch for sex probe. March 17, 2009.
Illinois—Morton’s Steakhouse, Shrimp, $2.75 Each
Morton’s Steakhouse, a high-end restaurant chain based in Chicago, has introduced Bar Bites, “budget-friendly” nibblies that include colossal shrimp at $2.75 each.
Source: dBusinessNews.com. Morton’s Gears Up for March Madness Game Nights. March 19, 2009.
Massachusetts—Berkowitz Says Farmed Shrimp Better Than Wild Shrimp
During the Annual Shrimp Forum at the International Boston Seafood Show (March 2009), Roger Berkowitz, President and CEO of Boston-based restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods, said, “Shrimp retains a sense of specialness.... We probably sell more shrimp than anything else. It plays a disproportionate role in terms of popularity.” Berkowitz said the quality and consistency of farmed shrimp far surpasses that of wild domestic shrimp, so his business relies on imported product to meet its needs. “Quality and consistency are most important to me,” said Berkowitz. He added that the quality and safety standards in Thailand and Vietnam were “incredibly high”.
At the shrimp forum, Morty Nussbaum, chairman of International Marketing Specialists, a Newton, Massachusetts, seafood importer, said the practice of selling shrimp product that is not 100 percent net weight continues. He decried the “cheater pack”, a practice that has occurred for several decades, when a 10-pound box of frozen shrimp with 25 percent glaze is sold to buyers—and ultimately consumers—as 12.5 pounds of shrimp. Berkowitz added that, “The only way you’re going to see any action is by sending [short-weighted product] back.”
For more information on glazes, check out the following items:
Mississippi—Chitin Will Heal Scratches on Your Car
Sunshine may not cure all ills, but it could offer a quick fix for a scratched car. Scientists have used chitin from the shells of shrimp to create a new material that repairs itself when exposed to ultraviolet light. The properties of the polymer, described in the journal Science (March 13, 2009), are still being investigated, but in a few years the polymers may be found in paints and used on everything from surgical instruments to cars.
The approach is to make a material with molecules that break and remake bonds through an interaction with an external stimulus such as heat, water or UV light.
Information: Marek Urban, University of Southern Mississippi, School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406, USA (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sources: 1. ScienceNews.org. Light could heal materials/New material repairs itself when exposed to ultraviolet light. Rachel Ehrenberg. March 12, 2009. 2. Science (the journal). Reports/Abstract/Self-Repairing Oxetane-Substituted Chitosan Polyurethane Networks. Biswajit Ghosh and Marek W. Urban. Volume 323, Number 5920, Page 1458, March 13, 2009. 3. The New York Times. Observatory/A Polymer Coating That Can Heal Itself Thanks to UV Light. Henry Fountain. March 17, 2009.
Washington DC—President Obama Reports on Food Safety
On March 14, 2009, describing the government’s failure to inspect 95 percent of food processing plants as “a hazard to the public health”, President Obama promised to bolster and reorganize the nation’s fractured food-safety system.
“In the end, food safety is something I take seriously, not just as your president, but as a parent,” President Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. He announced the creation of a Food Safety Working Group, which will include the secretaries of health and agriculture, to advise him on which laws and regulations need to be changed, to foster coordination across federal agencies and to ensure that laws are enforced.
A bipartisan chorus of powerful lawmakers in Congress has promised to enact fundamental changes in the nation’s food-protection system. President Obama made clear that he not only supported that legislative effort but that he also might push to expand it.
A debate has erupted on Capitol Hill in recent months about whether to bolster food oversight at the Food and Drug Administration or assign those responsibilities to a separate agency that would eventually absorb the food-oversight duties of the other 11 agencies, including the Food Safety Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture.
In his address, President Obama, as expected, announced that he would nominate Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, a former New York City health commissioner, to be commissioner of the FDA and would appoint Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the health commissioner in Baltimore, to become the principal deputy commissioner of the FDA.
Thirty-five years ago, the FDA did annual inspections of about half of the nation’s food-processing facilities. Last year, the agency inspected just 7,000 of the nearly 150,000 domestic food facilities, and its oversight of foreign plants, which provide a growing share of the nation’s food supply, was even spottier.
An editorial in The New York Times said President Obama has made two sterling choices to lead the embattled Food and Drug Administration. His nominees, both physicians, have the skills and experience to repair the damaged agency and restore its ability to protect American consumers.
The two nominees will face daunting problems at the FDA, including a shortage of scientific expertise, antiquated information technology, failures to protect the public from defective medical devices and drugs, and gaping holes in its programs to screen imported products and find the sources of food-borne illnesses.
Strong leadership is essential. But to keep American consumers safe, FDA will also need more authority and a large increase in financing from Congress.
Washington State—Costco Caught Cheating on Shrimp Trays
Costco Wholesale is being sued by a Scarsdale, New York man who says the club store routinely short-weights its shrimp trays.
On March 16, 2009, Marc Verzani filed a class action lawsuit in USA District Court in New York against Costco, claiming its shrimp tray with cocktail sauce always weighs less than advertised. Verzani’s lawyer claims the weight of the shrimp included in the tray is frequently three or more ounces short of the advertised net weight of 16 ounces. The shrimp trays retail for $9.99, an overcharge of $0.63 per ounce, or $1.25 to $1.86 per tray. Verzani estimates that the 410 Costco stores nationwide sell 205,000 to 410,000 shrimp trays each week, or 21.32 million trays annually.
The suit seeks damages for Verzani and others who may join the suit. Additionally, Verzani wants Costco to stop selling its shrimp trays until the product is accurately labeled with a correct weight.
In early March 2009, the USA Food and Drug Administration released a statement reminding the seafood industry that short weighting is a felony. The release reiterated a 1991 FDA policy that stated, “the net weight of frozen seafood may not include the weight of the glazing (ice).”
The guidance also said that the “Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic Act prohibits the adulteration of food by adding any substance (such as ice glaze) to increase its bulk or weight” and explains that violators may be criminally prosecuted.
Comrades Start Shrimp Hatchery
The Socialist Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INSOPESCA), with help from Cuban advisors, plans to complete a $4.1 million shrimp (Penaeus schmitti) hatchery in Caicara de Barcelona, Anzoategui State (central coast) by mid 2009. It will produce 10 million postlarvae a month for stocking lagoons in Unare and Piritu and is projected to produce a wild catch of 400 metric tons a year.
Exporting Shrimp to 61 Fewer Countries in 2009!
Since the beginning of 2009, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors, the number of countries that Vietnam exports shrimp to has dropped from 90 to 29! Blame it on the global economic slowdown and fierce competition from shrimp farmers in Thailand, India and Indonesia.
In 2009, many farmers in the Mekong Delta have refused to stock their ponds, resulting in a shortage of small shrimp, although the supply of large shrimp is good.
Source: VOV News. Vietnam’s shrimp exports lose 60 percent of their markets. March 17, 2009.
Shortage of Farmed Shrimp
A shortage of shrimp across the Mekong Delta has left thousands of processing plant workers unemployed and others looking for extra jobs to augment their incomes.
Businessmen in the delta say that local farmers are choosing to leave their shrimp ponds idle rather than take the risk of losses from disease, falling shrimp prices and increasing production costs.
Camimex, a shrimp processor, has sacked 207 workers; Fimex Vietnam has sent 700 workers home; and hundreds of workers at the Ut Xi Seafood Company face the same fate.
Nguyen Viet Cuong, president of the Phu Cuong Company that employs more than 10,000 workers in 21 processing plants across the Mekong Delta, said the company expects to report a loss of $344,200.
Source: ThanhnienNews.com. Workers scrimp as shrimp farmers abstain. Tran Thanh Phong. March 12, 2009.
CP Viet Nam Livestock Joint-Stock Company
Thai-owned CP Viet Nam Livestock Joint-Stock Company is investing $2 million to expand the capacity of its shrimp farm in Binh Dinh Province (central coast). When the expansion is complete, the farm’s capacity will increase from 1.2 billion shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) a year to 3 billion.
Source: Vietnam News Agency. Thais in $2m shrimp farm expansion. March 16, 2009.
Wanted an Effective Germicide
This exchange took place on the Shrimp List:
Irfan (email@example.com): I am looking for an effective germicide for water treatment and the disinfection of tanks. I need substitutes for chlorination and ozonation, which is too costly. A friend has suggested Virkon from Dupont in Switzerland.
Uday Ram Jothy (firstname.lastname@example.org): We have been using Virkon for quite some time in our hatchery and found that it significantly reduced bacterial loads. Earlier we were using it with larval and postlarval stages, but have since stopped using it with the larval stages because of frequent algal crashes. We are now using a combination of a peroxide compound with the larval stage and Virkon with the postlarval stages as preventive dosage and find it to be pretty effective.
Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers). Subject: Looking for an effective germicide. February 11, 2009.
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