Some Historical Notes on Shrimp and
The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific has just released Success Stories in Asian Aquaculture (February 2010), an e-book (PDF) that reviews the unique nature of Asian aquaculture. It provides first-time insights into how and why Asian aquaculture has been so successful, giving most of the credit to the resiliency, adaptability and innovation of small-scale farmers.
Editors Sena S. De Silva, director general of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, and F. Brian Davy, senior fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Canada, say, “In brief, our objectives were to prepare case studies and a synthesis examining the evolution and adaptation strategies in aquaculture and small-scale fisheries in the developing world.”
For the table of contents and a free download, click on the following link Success Stories in Asian Aquaculture.
Chapter 4, Backyard Hatcheries and Small Scale Shrimp and Prawn Farming in Thailand, by Hassanai Kongkeo and F. Brian Davy, contains some great historical notes on the development of shrimp and prawn farming in Thailand. They say:
In spite of many challenges, Thailand has retained global dominance in shrimp production for over a decade. The Thai shrimp farming sector essentially consists of small-scale, owner-managed farms with an average size of 1.6 hectares. The farming systems are resilient and adaptive, which has been a key to their sustainability. The emergence of backyard hatcheries that provided a reliable supply of quality seedstock to the small-scale farms was another key to the development of a sustainable shrimp farming industry, and the Thai Department of Fisheries did a remarkable job supporting the industry and helping it through some tough times.
In 1974, backyard hatcheries got started as part of a major thrust by the Thai Department of Fisheries (DOF) to establish a freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) farming industry. DOF developed the technical know how and provided free postlarvae (PLs) to farms. Large quantities of PLs were produced at the DOF’s fisheries station in the Bangpakong District of Chacheongsao Province and distributed by road and rail all over Thailand.
More interestingly, however, many of the technical staff of the Bangpakong Station also began to produce PLs at their homes, adapting prawn hatchery technology to containers used to store drinking water. Before long, many of the stilted houses of the staff and their friends and neighbors had small prawn hatcheries under their living quarters. Even nonscientific staff learned the necessary techniques. As the technology evolved, DOF held meetings and seminars to pass the new technology to the developing industry.
Soon, commercial backyard hatcheries sprang up all over Chacheongsao Province, in direct contrast to the massive species-specific, fixed-structure hatcheries that evolved elsewhere in the world in the 1970s and 1980s. These simple backyard hatcheries were later easily and cheaply modified to produce marine shrimp (Penaeus monodon and P. vannamei), grouper (Epinephalus species), seabass (Lates calcarifer) fingerlings and other marine finfish species.
Small hatcheries run by families are usually more efficient than larger-scale hatcheries that are run with hired labor. Backyard hatcheries originally started as a secondary occupation for rice farmers and fishermen, but soon they were making more money from their hatcheries than their primary occupations. The decrease in the price of shrimp fry stimulated by the spread of the backyard hatcheries also helped to fuel the rapid expansion of small-scale farms. This family business approach contrasts sharply with the large-scale, high-cost hatcheries in which the high fixed costs of wages, power supply, supporting facilities, supplies and equipment made closure, even for relatively short periods, very difficult.
As the small shrimp farms and backyard hatcheries spread across the country, hundreds of new business opened to fill their needs, including:
• Equipment suppliers (aerators, pumps, nets, construction equipment)
• Feed suppliers
• Nauplii and broodstock suppliers
• Pond preparation and harvesting companies
• Disease Diagnostic Services
• Water Quality Management Services
Small-Scale Shrimp Hatcheries
In 2008, there were more than 2,000 small-scale shrimp hatcheries in Thailand, mainly in Chacheongsao, Chonburi and Phuket provinces. They produced more than 80 billion PLs and accounted for approximately 90% of Thailand’s total PL production. Despite surviving many crises in the past two decades, small-scale hatcheries recently suffered a set back when large-scale hatcheries began offering specific pathogen free (SPF) PLs to farmers. To cover their high investment costs, the large-scale hatcheries were under pressure to increase their profits by selling PLs directly to farms, instead of selling nauplii to backyard hatcheries as they had formerly done. After lengthy negotiations between the government and the hatcheries, however, the rules were changed so that the small-scale hatcheries receive more SPF nauplii.
History of Marine Shrimp Farming
Shrimp farming in Thailand got started over sixty years ago with the extensive culture of banana shrimp (Penaeus merguiensis) and greasy shrimp (Metapenaeus species) using wild seedstock. Next gravid female shrimp were captured in the Gulf of Thailand and spawned at the Bangkok Marine Laboratory. P. merguiensis, P. semisulcatus, P. latisulcatus, M. monoceros and M. intermedius were successfully cultured through to the postlarvae stage. Experiments on pond culture of hatchery seedstock were carried out at private shrimp farms, but the results were not very good.
In 1973, the Phuket Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre successfully bred P. monodon from broodstock caught in the Andaman Sea. In 1974, PLs from the early spawns were stocked in semi-intensive ponds in Bangkrachai, Chantaburi, Klongdaan, Samutprakarn, Klongsahakorn and Samutsakorn provinces. But farming expanded rather slowly because of the lack of suitable feed, low prices in the domestic market ($2.50–3.20 a kilo) and little knowledge good management practices.
Prior to 1985, Taiwan was the only supplier of farmed shrimp to the Japanese shrimp market because of its geographic proximity, low shipping costs and established trade relations. But, to stabilize the supply of Taiwanese farmed shrimp, Japan had to buy it after the fall harvest and store it for the rest of the year. After 1985, however, labor and electricity costs went up significantly as a result of the Japanese economic boom, and the cold storage industry could no longer afford to store shrimp for up to ten months. A temperate country, Taiwan could produce only one shrimp crop a year. It would export most of the crop to Japan over a few months in the fall. Therefore, Japan encouraged tropical countries, like Thailand and the Philippines, to produce P. monodon. Japan increased the buying price of shrimp from tropical countries to $8.00–$10.00 a kilo to encourage the expansion of shrimp farming. This brought big profits to farmers and led to the first P. monodon boom in Thailand.
In 1987–1988, the collapse of the shrimp industry in Taiwan led to further increases in shrimp production in Thailand.
Similarly, in 1993, P. chinensis shrimp crops collapsed in China, probably due to the whitespot virus, and Thailand rapidly increased production to more than 200,000 metric tons a year to make up for the shortfall in world supplies. The sharp increase in shrimp prices in 1993 was driven by demand from global markets, again spurring shrimp farmers to boost their production.
Yellowhead virus hit the Thai shrimp farming industry in 1990, but it did not affect production very much because good management practices were already in place and the flexible small-scale hatcheries and farms adopted new strategies to work around the virus. Outbreaks of the whitespot virus occurred from 1994–1997. They hit a little harder than yellowhead, but did not have much of an effect because by then most farmers were stocking clean seedstock into closed systems.
In 1999, the Thai Government issued a decree to ban P. monodon farming in inland areas to avoid the negative environmental impact from saline water. It was not fully enforced until 2001. About 30% of the farms located in freshwater areas of the country were affected by this decree. Farmers could not revert back to Macrobrachium culture because market prices for it, at the time, were not very good. Therefore, in late 1999, SPF P. vannamei from Hawaii were introduced by the private sector to replace P. monodon in freshwater areas. After successful trials in Nakorn Pathom Province, vannamei spread to all the inland shrimp farming areas within two years. Culture in pure freshwater, however, yielded only small shrimp (15–20 grams) and mortality occurred after three months.
Sources: 1. Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific Webpage. General: Success Stories in Asian Aquaculture—Free Download! January 28, 2010. 2. Success Stories in Asian Aquaculture. Editors: Sena S. De Silva and F. Brian Davy. Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific. 2010.
Developing the Largest Shrimp Marketing Center in the World
The Ministry of Agriculture has invested $117 million in a 408,473-square-meter Seafood/Agricultural Center that will be built in Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province, on the south coast of China. It will be the world’s largest shrimp trading center and have over ten metric tons of cold storage space. Both processing and marketing will be done at the Center. It will meet all USA Food and Drug Administration and European Union standards for seafood. The Ag Ministry hopes to have it completed by September 2010.
At the Center, shrimp shells and shrimp heads will be harvested for byproducts.
El Niño is expected to continue at least into April/May 2010.
Current oceanic and atmospheric conditions reflect a strong and mature El Niño. Nearly all computer models say it has reached its peak, but when it will begin losing strength is highly uncertain.
Source: Climate Prediction Center. El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion (a downloadable PDF or Word file). February 4, 2010.
References Prices February 1, 2010
Plans to Sue USA for Zeroing
The European Union is seeking around $375 million in sanctions from the United States in its dispute over a USA method for assessing dumping duties on shrimp exports. The move by the EU is yet another blow against the USA practice of “zeroing”, a statistical procedure that led to artificially high dumping duties. Zeroing has been condemned repeatedly by WTO judges. The USA is the only World Trade Organization member that attempts to use it.
Source: Daily Times. EU Seeks $375M Sanctions from US in Dumping Row. February 4, 2010.
Sexual Dimorphism in Shrimp
From Abstract: Crustacean females typically grow faster and larger than males. Sexual dimorphism may warrant separating males and females during growout to ensure consistent harvest size, and in some cases, mono-sex culture may be justified. In this study, researchers looked at sexual dimorphism in Penaeus monodon to determine its extent and time of onset. Shrimp were communally reared in two earthen ponds. One pond was stocked at seven animals per square meter, the other at nine. At seven animals per square meter, females began growing faster than the males after 70 days and consistently maintained an average female-superior difference of 6 to 10 grams. At nine animals per square meter, onset of sexual dimorphism began at 90 days. The weight of shrimp at the onset of sexual dimorphism was similar—15 to 20 grams—at both stocking densities. The researchers conclude that weight is more important than age in determining onset of sexual dimorphism for growth in P. monodon. Females were approximately 8 grams heavier than males in both ponds after 169 days.
Source: Aquaculture. Weight and Time of Onset of Female-Superior Sexual Dimorphism in Pond Reared Penaeus monodon. Chavali Gopal, Gopalapillay Gopikrishna, Gopal Krishna, Shrinivas S. Jahageerdar, Morten Rye, Ben J. Hayes (firstname.lastname@example.org, Biosciences Research Division, Department of Primary Industries Victoria, La Trobe R&D Park, 1 Park Drive, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia, phone +61-3-9479-5439, fax +61-3-9479-3618), Sivagnanam Paulpandi, Remanibhaskaran P. Kiran, Subramaniapillai M. Pillai, Pitchaiyappan Ravichandran, Alphis G. Ponniah and Dilip Kumar. Volume 300, Issues 1-4, Pages 237-239, February 27, 2010.
We are looking for technicians that have had exposure to shrimp farming in Saudi Arabia. We would like to fill the following positions.
1. Farm Production Manager
2. Senior Farm Technicians
3. Farm Technicians
Send your resume to email@example.com.
United Arab Emirates
Boeing, a Honeywell Company and the National Airline of the UAE Jump into the Pond
A project in the Middle East aims to make jet fuel from saltwater-tolerant crops grown in the desert. Researchers at the Masdar Institute in the United Arab Emirates are starting a two-square-kilometer demonstration farm that will combine fish and shrimp farming with the cultivation of mangroves and Salicornia, a plant with oil-rich seeds that can be converted into fuel.
The goal is to produce biofuels without taking away land from food crops or using large amounts of fresh water, which are two of the major shortcomings of conventional biofuels, says Scott Kennedy, an assistant professor at the Masdar Institute and the leader of the project, which is supported by several major companies, including: Boeing, Etihad Airways (the national airline of the United Arab Emirates), and UOP (a company owned by Honeywell that will supply technology for converting the biomass into chemical precursors and fuels). The Masdar Institute is part of a zero-emissions city being built in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
Kennedy and his colleagues will refine a technique called integrated seawater agriculture. First, they will pump saltwater into ponds or flow it past cages used for growing shrimp or fish. Ordinarily, such aquaculture is an “environmental disaster,” Kennedy says. The runoff contains large amounts of feces that can cause dangerous algae blooms and other problems. But in the Masdar system, the researchers will use the effluent to fertilize Salicornia.
Irrigated with the salt-water effluent from the shrimp ponds, the Salicornia can be harvested like other crops, such as wheat or rice. The effluent from the Salicornia fields is next fed to a stretch of mangrove trees.
Using a proprietary process developed by UOP Honeywell, the oil-rich seeds of the Salicornia can be processed into a product that can be blended into jet fuel. The rest of the plant can then be further used to produce liquid fuels, or burned to produce steam for electrical generation.
Source: Technology Review (a Massachusetts Institute of Technology publication). Biofuels from Saltwater Crops. Kevin Bullis. February 5, 2010.
Arizona—Flagstaff Lab Looks for Bacteria on Shrimp
Researchers at Translational Genomics in Flagstaff are looking at what happens when farmers routinely feed antibiotics to beef, chicken, pork, turkey, salmon and shrimp.
They’re buying meat and seafood from grocery stores in California, Florida, Illinois and Washington, DC, to see what kinds of bacteria live on it.
They expect to find the majority of their samples will have some ugly stuff, like antibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting you by cross-contamination in your kitchen, even if you’re a vegetarian living with omnivores. “We think that it is contributing significantly to the antibiotic resistance problem in people,” said Lance B. Price, a biologist and director of a Translational Genomics unit that does research bearing on human health and the organisms living on us.
One analysis put the cost of fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant staph (MRSA), at $4-5 billion annually in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that of those who contract antibiotic-resistant infections, 90,000 die annually.
“Because of our profligate use of antibiotics in the animal food system, we’re creating a huge public health nightmare for ourselves,” said Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The use of antibiotics in healthy animals for food production has drawn the attention of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Medical Association, and lately, Capitol Hill, in the form of a bill to limit antibiotic use in livestock.
Price has testified on behalf of that bill, saying that any animal farming operation that relies on antibiotics daily to keep animals healthy needs to reconsider its practices.
Source: Mlive.com. Flagstaff Lab Looks into Antibiotics in Livestock. Cyndy Cole (Associated Press). February 5, 2010.
A grand jury may soon hand down indictments against several shrimp processors for mislabeling imports as USA-caught shrimp.
Federal investigators say they’ve caught some companies red-handed, putting less expensive imports in boxes labeled “Product of the U.S.”
NOAA special agents have seized 22,000 pounds of shrimp from two processors in Louisiana and one in Mississippi.
The shrimp was imported from Mexico and Ecuador. DNA tests could prove they were imports. Investigators also say they can tell by the way the products were packaged. USA shrimp is packed by machines. Imports are packed by hand. Kejonen says swapping boxes is a simple trick that’s extremely profitable for wholesalers. “Two dollars a pound and mislabeling millions of pounds,” Kejonen explained. “It’s huge, it gives you an idea of the dollar value.”
Ronnie Anderson said shrimp fraud could be the final nail in the coffin for the USA shrimp industry. “There is no young generation coming in to do it. Once we die, that’s gonna be it.”
Source: WSBTV.com. Mislabeled Shrimp Sold in U.S. February 8, 2010.
Deborah Bouchard of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is spearheading a project to improve the food quality and safety of lobsters held in land-based holding tanks. Working with David Basti and Anne Lichtenwalner, who are also with Maine’s Cooperative Extension, Bouchard was awarded a two-year, $247,547 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The project’s ultimate goal is to develop a probiotic nutritional supplement for lobsters that will reduce the need for antibiotics and decrease the stress caused by competition for feed.
Instead of feeding lobsters large amounts of fish byproducts from random locations within the pound causing a feeding frenzy, the researchers are developing a probiotic, nutrient-dense feed supplement that could be broadcast at frequent intervals, thus reducing lobster aggregation, competition and aggression.
The research team also intends to educate producers regarding best management practices for the handling and storage of live lobsters.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). UMO Working on Probiotic Supplement to Improve Condition of Pounded Lobsters. 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). February 5, 2010.
New Hampshire—Wanted 1,000 PLs, Now
I run a small aquatic supply company called Aquatic Research Organisms in Hampton, New Hampshire. I have a client who needs 1,000 Penaeus vannamei postlarvae by the end of the month. I am looking for someone who might be able to supply these critters.
Information: Stan Sinitski (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Stan Sinitski on February 17, 2010.
Texas—Estimated Production of Farmed Shrimp in the USA in 2009
Information: Granvil Treece, Aquaculture Specialist, Texas A&M University, Sea Grant College Program, 2700 Earl Rudder Freeway South, Suite 1800, College Station, Texas 77845, USA (phone 1-979-845-7527, fax 1-979-845-7525, email email@example.com, website http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu).
Source: Email and attachment from Granvil Treece to Shrimp News International on February 3, 2010.
Washington DC—FDA’s New System
On February 4, 2010, Margaret Hamburg, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said border inspectors nationwide will soon start using a new computer system to identify risky food and medicine from abroad.
About 20 million shipments of food, medicine, medical devices and cosmetics are expected to arrive at USA ports in 2010, up from about 6 million a decade ago. With the growing flood of products, inspectors typically examine less than one percent of it. With the new system, border agents will be able to check products through a computer database that gives a risk-level score, calculated in part on whether the maker has a history of recalls and how susceptible the product is to contamination. High-score products will be set aside for further checks.
The program will allow inspectors to “target shipments for inspection that pose the greatest risk,” said Hamburg in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Inspectors will still “be checking only a small percentage” of shipments, but will be using “better intelligence” to decide what to check, Hamburg said. The program, called “Predict”, has been tested in Los Angeles, California, and is being implemented in New York, Hamburg said. FDA plans to have the system in use nationally by early summer 2010, agency spokesman George Strait said.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). FDA Says New “Predict” Risk-Based Program Will Enhance U.S. Border Food Import Inspections. Lisa Richwine (Reuters). 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). February 5, 2010.