John Filose on the USA Shrimp Market
This article on the current status of the USA shrimp market by John Filose, a seafood marketing consultant, appeared in the July/September 2009 issue of INFOPESCA (see Source below). Filose thinks the following topics will be important to the shrimp industry over the next three to five years:
The Largest Market: The USA will continue to be the largest market for shrimp. In Japan, a low birth rate and shift towards an older median age society suggest that demand for shrimp products will continue to drift downward. The European Union (EU) market is really not a homogeneous marketplace for shrimp. Requirements for presentations and types of shrimp vary significantly from country to country. Therefore, the EU is actually a series of different, smaller markets. Additionally, each of the major EU countries has a declining birthrate, which makes increases in shrimp consumption difficult to achieve. If you want a market to sell just about any shrimp product, a market with a growing population, then you are talking about the USA market. All suppliers must have a profitable marketing plan for the USA.
Food Safety: The National Fisheries Institute is the trade association for the commercial seafood industry. Called “NFl”, it has conducted a series of consumer focus groups over the past few years. A focus group is a gathering of 10 to 12 consumers who, led by a professional moderator, discuss their reactions to a particular product. The focus groups first reviewed shrimp and later reviewed all seafood products. The one continuing message from consumers was that food safety is of paramount importance. Price, quality, value, taste, or any other criteria just becomes meaningless if there is the slightest question or concern about food safety. The management of restaurant chains, leading independent restaurants, national supermarkets, plus regional and local supermarket groups are all very familiar with the intensely negative reaction that consumers have when there is even a rumor of a food safety problem. The implication for shrimp producers goes far beyond providing top quality products. I believe that major buyers will soon require that their shrimp suppliers have complete recall procedures and a total traceability system in place—as a prerequisite for doing business.
Fraud: Short weights and excessive glazes will become a more important issue in the near term. In late February 2009, the Food and Drug Administration re-issued highlights from a 1991 Guidance Letter that said short weight offenses will be dealt with as an intent to defraud. They warned the seafood industry that short weighting is a felony, and that glaze is not part of a product’s net weight. You can bet that the various USA consumer advocacy groups will follow this issue closely. Watch for news that one of these aggressive NGO’s buying seafood items and then conducting their own tests, the results of which will then be communicated to the consumer media. As a producer, you do not want this to be your shrimp. If the product is found to be short weighted, the subsequent publicity will be very, very negative.
China: Watch for China to come roaring back as a leading supplier of shrimp to the USA market. Its customs tariffs and bonds are being reduced. Its major producers/exporters are receiving independent certifications. Recently, their trade group forecast a 20% increase in shrimp farming output over the next two years. Most importantly, their federal government, stung by recent criticisms of lack of oversight, is taking concrete steps to improve overall standards and safety of all food exports.
Information: John Filose, 1921 Wandering Road, Encinitas, California 92024, USA (phone 1-760-753-2757, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: INFOPESCA. El mercado del camarón en EEUU. Estado actual y perspectivas para mediano y largo plazo (The U.S. Shrimp Market: Current Status, Near Term Outlook and Implications for the Future). Part 2 (Part 1 in previous issue). John Filose. Number 39. Julio-Septiembre 2009.
Two Classes of Triploid Shrimp
Abstract: Two classes of triploid shrimp exist: polar body one triploids and polar body two triploids. In this study, researchers compared heterozygosity at eight microsatellite loci of PB I and PB II full-sibling triploid Penaeus (Marsupenaeus) japonicus to full-sibling diploid controls across six families. Differences in harvest weight, survival from PL-120 (days) to PL-210, sex at harvest age and gonad development in females at PL-310 of the different triploid classes compared with diploid controls were also assessed for three families, two of which were also included in the heterozygosity assessments.
The researchers found no consistent trends in heterozygosity between the PB I and PB II triploids and diploid controls. Furthermore, no consistent trends in the harvest weight and no significant differences (P > 0.05) in survival from PL-120 to PL-210 of shrimp in the different triploidy classes and diploid controls within each of the three families were observed when reared in controlled environment tanks. They demonstrate for the first time that PB I triploid P. japonicus are predominantly female with only two of the 34 individuals being male, both of which were from the same family. All 115 PB II triploids from the three families were female. They also demonstrate that PB I and PB II triploid females do not produce gonad tissue that is visible through the cuticle by the time they reach PL-360, at which life-stage gonad is visible in sibling diploid controls.
Provided commercial induction techniques can be developed, this study indicates that triploid induction has the potential to improve harvest yields through the production of predominantly female populations that are potentially reproductively sterile. Findings from this study indicate that there is no benefit in using the harder to perform PB I triploidy induction methods over PB II triploidy induction methods for commercial applications.
Sources: 1. Aquaculture. A Comparison of Heterozygosity, Sex Ratio and Production Traits in Two Classes of Triploid Penaeus (Marsupenaeus) Japonicus (Kuruma Shrimp): Polar Body I Vs II Triploids. Melony J. Sellars (email@example.com, CSIRO Food Futures National Research Flagship, 16 Julius Avenue, North Ryde, NSW 2113, Australia), Andrew T. Wood, Tom J. Dixona, Leanne M. Dierens and Greg J. Coman. Volume 296, Issues 3-4, Pages 207-212, November 16, 2009. 2. Wikipedia. Heterozygosity and Microsatellite. October 8, 2009.
Organic Shrimp Farming
At a conference on exporting shrimp, George Chamberlain, chairman of the Global Aquaculture Alliance and owner of Kona Bay Marine Resources, a shrimp breeding center in Hawaii, said farmers could make large profits by farming organic shrimp in Bangladesh. “This type of shrimp is costly and profits are...high,” Chamberlain said. Farming of organic shrimp is already being done in some parts of Bangladesh, he added.
Source: bdnews24.com. Possibilities of Organic Shrimp Farming Huge. October 1, 2009.
In the first five months of 2009, Ecuador exported 146 million pounds of shrimp worth $297 million. In the same period in 2008, it exported 152 million pounds worth $339 million. Some 70 million pounds were shipped to Europe, 69.7 million pounds to the United States, 4.6 million pounds to Latin America, 1.5 million pounds to Asia, and 707,086 pounds to Africa.
Ecuador has around 180,000 hectares of shrimp ponds. So far only 325 farms have initiated the registration process with the government, out of a total of 1,200 shrimp farms. Once registered, the farms will have several new obligations, like securing health certificates and making social security payments for all employees. In addition, investors will not be allowed to hide their investment in foreign tax havens. According to Jose Centanaro, Ecuador’s Subsecretary of Aquaculture, if the farms don’t register and fulfill the requirements of registration, they will lose their concessions!
For a ten minute video of Expalsa’s huge organic shrimp farming operation in Ecuador, click on the link in the Source below. In the video, Expalsa’s employees talk about the company’s commitment to responsible shrimp farming in Ecuador, while a background video shows Expalsa’s integrated operations. The employees speak in Spanish, but there are English subtitles. You get long looks at the feed mill, hatchery, farm and processing plant, along with shots of the company’s contributions to the community. Here are some excerpts from the English subtitles.
Juan Xavier Cordovez (General Manager of the Expalsa Group): “We have developed alongside each production unit of the Expalsa group several social projects that benefit more than eight communities along the Ecuadorian coast. Some people call this corporate responsibility. For us it’s part of day to day operations, and it’s our obligation as leaders to be an example of clean production, quality and full coexistence with the environment.”
Alejandro Aguilar (Biologist): “Beyond producing a natural product, our brand ‘Organic Wonder’ incorporates a whole new philosophy of life. We protect nature and care for the environment.... We currently have reforested more than 80 hectares of mangrove.”
Eduardo Diaz (Hatchery Manager): “Expalsa has developed a structured program of genetic improvement for the species Penaeus vannamei and this program has served as the cornerstone for the sustainable development of our business and the environment.”
Humberto Trujillo (Export Manager): “Organic wonder farming is environmentally benign, socially beneficial and economically successful by complying with the strict international standards, contributing to environmental conservation and producing shrimp in a completely natural way without the use of antibiotics and chemicals.”
Source: YouTube. Expalsa, Our Social Responsibility! December 23, 2008.
India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is urging shrimp farmers not to use banned antibiotics and products containing pendimethalin, an herbicide used to prevent crabgrass from germinating.
SYSCO Signs Marketing Deal with MPEDA
India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has signed a marketing deal with SYSCO (USA) to promote Indian tiger shrimp in the United States. They will each put up $1.15 million to get the promotion started.
Having record sales of $37.5 billion [!] in fiscal year 2008, SYSCO continues to be the global leader in the foodservice industry. With its vast network in the USA, SYSCO has the capacity to absorb almost 10,000 metric tons of tiger shrimp from India a year.
Source: Press Information Bureau/Government of India. MPEDA and SYSCO signs Agreement to Promote Indian Black Tiger Shrimps/Exports of Marine Products Reaches Rs. 8608 Crore in 2008-09. MC/MRS/MK. October 5, 2009.
Unable to Fill Some Shrimp Orders
Indonesia has been unable to meet some shrimp export orders because of a drop in supply from farms. On September 29, 2009, Shidiq Moeslim, chairman of the Indonesian National Fisheries Society, said, “We have a problem with domestic shrimp cultivation so that we as exporters often face supply shortages.” Shidiq said shrimp exports accounted for 45 percent, or about $1.03 billion, of total fishery exports.
Source: AntaraNews. Indonesia Unable to Meet 30% of Shrimp Exports Orders. October 1, 2009.
CP Prima—Legal Fight Gets Complicated
CP Prima, the largest shrimp farm in the world, has sued some of its bondholders for $2 billion. [This figure was first reported as $4 billion.] In response, the bondholders have hired lobbyist Lin Che Wei to defend their position.
Meanwhile, CP Prima is publicly rebutting the bondholders’ accusations with language that includes accusations of “slander” and “defamation”.
Click on the link below for a discussion of the legal and financial intricacies surrounding the suit.
Source: Ifrasia. Red Dragon Restruction Fight Gets Personal (the article is free, but requires registration). Jonathan Rogers. October 3, 2009.
Vannamei versus Monodon
Most small shrimp farms have abandoned Penaeus monodon in favor of P. vannamei, which now represents 90 percent of farmed shrimp production in Malaysia.
Some farmers would switch back to monodon if they had access to domesticated stocks and postlarvae from specific pathogen free or resistant broodstock. They feel that there is a niche demand for large shrimp and for special markets like fish-out ponds that offer high prices.
Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Marine Shrimp/Market Options for Surplus Shrimp. Zuridah Merican. Volume 5, Number 5, Page 8, September/October 2009.
Aquaculture Asia 2009 and Taiwan’s Team Aqua Corporation
“Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2009”, managed by the World Aquaculture Society, will be held in Kuala Lumpur in early November 2009. The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, followed by three days of formal presentations and a trade show. Farm tours have been planned for Saturday, November 7, 2009.
At the conference, Taiwan’s Team Aqua Corporation will exhibit its high-speed paddlewheel aerator with a new water-breaking impeller and higher and wider splash. Team Aqua will also exhibit HDPE sea and inland cages, fish and shrimp feeds and water pumps.
Information: C.T. Chu and Charles Liu, Team Aqua Corporation, 14 Floor, No. 115, Jungshan Road, Shinying City, Tainan, Taiwan, 730 (webpage http://www.aquaculture-product.com.tw/, email email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage https://www.was.org).
Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email email@example.com). Sustainable Aquaculture and Quality Seafood for All/Aquaculture Supplies. Volume 5, Number 5, Pages 46-48, September/October 2009.
Happy Shrimp Farm—Recovery Unlikely
The Happy Shrimp Farm, a greenhouse-enclosed shrimp farm that used the thermal effluent from a power plant, went bankrupt in June 2009. Over the last three months, no serious buyers have come forward to purchase the farm. In the three years the company was in business, it never made a profit.
Source: AgriHolland.nl. Doorstart Happy Shrimp Farm Hoogst Onzeker (Happy Shrimp Farm Relaunch Highly Uncertain). September 29, 2009.
Has Ten Weeks to Respond to Child Labor Charges
Thailand has ten weeks to defend itself against USA allegations of child labor and forced labor at its shrimp processing plants. The Thai Foreign Affairs and Commerce ministries have urged shrimp processors to provide information on employment and working conditions for Thai and immigrant workers to the USA Department of Labor during its public hearing period, which ends December 10, 2009.
Panisuan Jamnarnvej, President of the Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA), which represents the Thai shrimp and seafood industries, said, “We strongly question the information the USA Department of Labor used. The allegation has yet to have an impact on Thailand’s shrimp exports to the USA market, but the incident inevitably damages the Thai industry.” The fisheries industry employs 70,000 foreign workers and more than 200,000 Thais under conditions governed by Thai labor law, which sets 18 as the minimum working age, said Panisuan. Officials of the USA Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), which has an office in Bangkok, regularly inspect processing facilities, including peeling sheds. Panisuan said he believes USA shrimp processors and fishermen, especially those in Louisiana, influenced the Department of Labor’s report. In his view, the allegations resemble a trade barrier against Thai shrimp.
Arthon Piboonthanapatana, Secretary-General of TFFA, said, “The recent unannounced visits of ICE officials to several fishery factories found no illegal or unethical practices.” Retailers and buyers in the USA have launched their own inspections to ensure products are free from abuse, which has enabled Thai shrimp sales to remain robust in the USA market despite the recent allegations, said Arthon.
Source: Boletin Informativo (Ecuador’s Camara Nacional de Acuacultura). Editor, Jorge Tejada (firstname.lastname@example.org). Will industry respond to shrimp labor allegations? October 2, 2009.
In an effort to lower product tracking costs, Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA) has released a report advocating nationwide adoption of RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to track the movement of Thailand’s shrimp crop from harvest to customer. NIA wants the RFID tags to contain information on the origin of the shrimp, how long they have been traveling and what they were fed.
The project involves another system called C-Move, developed by DX Innovation and partially funded by NIA, that uses GPS technology to track vehicles when they are away from urban areas.
Source: RFIDNews.org. Thailand’s NIA Pushing for RFID Expansion. September 22, 2009.
Missouri—GAA in the United Kingdom
Cumbrian Seafoods and the supermarket giant ASDA will be the first companies in the UK to sell tiger shrimp under the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Management certification program.
Washington DC—Isabel Pérez Farfante
Ray Bauer (email email@example.com) a professor of biology at the University of Louisiana, reports: I am very sorry to report that a valued colleague and good friend, Isabel Canet, who published under the name Isabel Pérez Farfante, passed away last night [August 20, 2009] at the age of 93, at her home in Key Biscayne, Florida, surrounded by family.
Born in Cuba, Isabel was a truly great scientist and carcinologist. She received her doctorate from Radcliffe College in the USA and went on to a prominent career as professor and marine biologist in Cuba. She fled to the USA after the Castro revolution and became established with the National Marine Fisheries Service branch at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) with a laboratory in the Division of Crustacea.
Isabel is best known for her many publications on the systematics and reproductive morphology of penaeid shrimp. She, with Brian Kensley, published Penaeoid and Sergestoid Shrimps and Prawns of the World in 1997, a most important and useful monograph on the systematics of dendrobranchiate shrimps.
Isabel was a wonderful, charming and extremely interesting person whose knowledge and personality will be sorely missed.
Information: Raymond T. Bauer, Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana 70504-2451, USA (email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 1-337-482-6435, fax 1-337-482-5834).
Kevin Zelnio at the Smithsonian Institution reports: As a taxonomist and marine biologist, it is very hard to lose “one of us”. There are not many around and each loss is a shock to the system. The loss of Isabel Farfante is a huge loss for crustacean taxonomy. I’ve never met her, but I’ve read many of her papers and monographs. Her work was thorough and very useful to more people than she probably knows. She was professor and researcher at the University of Havana; director of the Cuban Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras; and associate in Invertebrate Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. She has authored zoology textbooks, and numerous papers on the systematics of penaeoid shrimps, most notably landmark studies of the genus Penaeus.
Sources: 1. Crust-L, an email-based mailing list for crustacean scientists (To subscribe, send an email to LISTPROC@VIMS.EDU. In the body of the email, put SUBSCRIBE CRUST-L). Subject: [CRUST-L:4428] Isabel Canet (Pérez Farfante). From: Dr. Raymond T. Bauer (email email@example.com). August 21, 2009. 2. DeepSeaNews.com. Isabel Farfante 1916-2009. Kevin Zelnio. August 2009.
Shrimp Farming Alliance with Iran
During a recent official visit to Iran, Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, sealed a bilateral strategic agreement on shrimp farming with the government of Iran. For its part, the Iranian government has committed to equip Venezuela with an information gathering system to help recover 14 abandoned shrimp farms in the states of Falcon, Sucre and Zulia. According to the president of the Socialist Fisheries and Aquaculture Institute (INSOPESCA), Gilberto Gimenez, who was part of the committee that visited Iran, the new information system will facilitate and optimize the collection of data on national seafood production. Some $27 million will be allocated to this project. Iran will develop training courses for the workers who will take over the farms.
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