Australia’s Largest and Oldest Shrimp Farm
Seafarm, the country’s largest shrimp farm, is for sale. Best known for its Crystal Bay Prawns, Seafarm has engaged Kidder Williams, Ltd., an Australian agribusiness investment bank, to sell the farm. Seafarm is the only producer of farmed banana shrimp (Penaeus merguiensis)in Australia and the only Australian farm able to supply fresh shrimp to the market year round. Producing about 2,000 metric tons a year, the shrimp are sold to supermarkets, wholesalers, retailers and food service providers. Some of Australia’s leading chefs use Crystal Bay Prawns in their shrimp dishes. Seafarm also exports to Japan, New Zealand, Europe and Hong Kong, and it is the only Australian shrimp being exported to Japan as sashimi grade.
For the results of an informal taste test that discusses Seafarm’s shrimp and other Australian farmed and wild caught shrimp, click here.
Information: Daniel Levy, Manager, Kidder Williams, Ltd., Level 35, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia (phone +61-3-246-4206, mobile phone +61-419-119-334, fax +61-3-9246-4201, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.kidder.com.au).
Sources: 1. Email to Shrimp News International from Daniel Levy. Subject: Australia’s Largest Prawn Farmer, Crystal Bay Prawns, Soliciting Expressions of Interest. July 20, 2010. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International. July 22, 2010.
Whitespot Hits Northwest Mexico
Shrimp Production in Sonora and Sinaloa May Drop by 50%
John Sackton, Editor and Publisher of Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service) reports:
The whitespot virus hit shrimp farms in northwest Mexico much harder this year than in previous years. In 2009, for example, it was only a minor problem, but this year, production could drop by as much as 50 percent in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, where most of the country’s farmed shrimp is produced.
Miguel H. Olea, president of the Committee on Aquatic Health in Sonora, said that farmed shrimp production in Mexico was approximately 130,000 metric tons in 2009, of which around 90% to 93% was produced in the states of Sinaloa and Sonora. Sinaloa has had whitespot outbreaks since May 2010. Now Sonora’s production is being affected by whitespot. Five farms have already reported mortalities due to whitespot, including some farms around Hermosillo, where technicians have reported high mortality. At least one farm is harvesting early to avoid losses. As a result, total production in Mexico could be off by as much as 50% this year, depending on the virility of this year’s epidemic.
In Sonora, about 81,000 metric tons of farmed shrimp are produced annually, of which more than half—45,000 to 46,000 metric tons—is produced in the area around Hermosillo. The rest is produced in southern Sonora, where about 3,000 metric tons of small shrimp (50/60 count and smaller) will be harvested. These shrimp are getting good prices in the Mexican domestic market. Last year, 34,000 tons of shrimp were produced in the south. Currently, densities have been reduced to 6-8 shrimp per square meter, but mortality is expected to be 50% or higher. Therefore, Olea thinks the total harvest will be about 8,000 to 11,000 tons, compared to the 34,000 tons last year, or a reduction of about 65%.
The farms around Hermosillo have not been hit as hard as those in the south. Only 20% to 30% have been hit, and warm summer temperatures could halt the spread of the virus.
[Editor, I am sitting in a cold office in San Diego, California, just 500 kilometers north of the shrimp farms in Sonora. It has been one of the coldest summers that I can remember. Today, July 26, 2010, the forecast high is 67°F (19°C) and the low 62°F (17°C), and it has been that way for much of the summer. I have not checked Hermosillo’s recent temperature history, but it is influenced by many of the same weather patterns that affect San Diego, so I bet it is also experiencing a cool summer, which means the virus could be more devastating than expected. Could La Niña be responsible? You can view the shrimp farms around Hermosillo in Google Earth (a free download from Google). Type “Bahia de Kino, Sonora, Mexico” into Google’s search box, and then scroll south, down the coast. Increase or decrease the magnification to get the view you want.]
Miguel Olea says that he expects production in northern Sonora to be down by 30%: from 45,000 tons in 2009 to about 30,000 tons this year. Shrimp densities at most farms around Hermosillo are 10-15 animals per square meter. Currently, these shrimp are about 9 to 14 grams. To get a 41-50 count shrimp, they need to grow to 15-16 grams, which should happen by the end of July, or the beginning of August. At that point, some pre-harvests will likely take place, as farmers take some cash and attempt to lessen the stress on the remaining animals, which will be harvested at the end of September, at 25 to 30 grams, resulting in 21-25 and 26-30 count sizes.
Olea expects much of the pre-harvest (41-50 count shrimp) to remain in the Mexican domestic market, while the 21-25s and 26-30s from the final harvest will go to the USA market, where they will be scarce and pricey.
Much will depend on whether or not the mortalities from the virus abate. Harvesting smaller shrimp and reducing densities have already guaranteed that there will be lower overall Mexican farmed shrimp production for 2010.
Sources: 1. Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). White Spot Potentially More Severe for Mexican Farmed Shrimp This Year. John Sackton. July 19, 2010. 2. Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email email@example.com). Mexican Farmed Shrimp Production Will Be Down This Year as Major White Spot Outbreak Hits Sonora. John Sackton. July 21, 2010. 3. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, July 26, 2010.
Stranded Shrimp Released in Europe
In June 2010, hundreds of shrimp shipments from Bangladesh were stranded at ports in Europe because of a change in the rules on crystal violet (a dye, that may show up in some Bangladeshi products). All the Bangladeshi shrimp permits had to be updated to meet the conditions in the new rules. The Bangladesh Commerce Ministry immediately issued more than 100 new certificates. On July 12, 2010, the European Union (EU) began releasing the detained shipments.
Kazi Shahnewaz, a vice president of the Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA), said, “We’re poised to overcome the problem as about 50 containers have already made their way into the EU market after complying with [the new] rules.”
Source: GROWfish (Gippsland Aquaculture Industry Network, Inc., or GAIN). GROWfish eNewsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org). Stranded Shrimp Consignment Start Making Way to EU. Monira Munni. July 15, 2010.
Rising Salinity Favors Shrimp Farming over Rice Farming
More than 80 percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people live on less than $2 a day, many of them under constant threat from floods, droughts and cyclones. Together with the Maldives and a few other island states, Bangladesh tops virtually every index of countries most vulnerable to climate change.
In southwest Bangladesh, where climate change has caused salinity levels to rise, many farmers are switching from rice to shrimp. Although environmental groups claim this as evidence that climate change is destroying a traditional way of life, development experts say the change has occurred largely for economic reasons and has been good for the rural economy.
Shrimp industry sources say:
“Shrimp cultivation has brought more money to the local economy than purely rice-based peasant farming.”
“Shrimp farming is about economics, not about climate change.”
Mohamed Monimur Mollah who works 2,000 square meters of ponds near the village of Kolabri, in southwest Bangladesh, says, “Since the salinity has increased I have been able to take up shrimp cultivation, which is more profitable than [rice] farming. Now I can give my family a better life.”
Source: The Australian. Sorting Bangladeshi Disasters from the Fact or Myth of Climate Change. Amos Aikman. July 17, 2010.
Freeze-Dried Algae on the Way
From Abstract: Various novel molecules are essential for the proper development and growth of shrimp. These functional molecules are not present in artificial algae replacers, nor does it seem that they can be incorporated into them. New processing techniques, however, have enabled the development of freeze-dried algae, a free-flowing powder that does preserve the novel molecules. In fact, its nutritional profile is almost identical to fresh algae. The dry product has off-the-shelf availability, prolonged shelf life and easy to use “shake and bake” instructions.
The numerous carotenoids, phytosterols and trace elements that are abundant in microalgae are preserved in freeze-dried algae.
The availability of multiple species of microalgae in this format enables novel applications that were hitherto almost impossible. A green water “anti-stress package” has been created for shrimp postlarvae that increases survival and growth. Tests are underway to replace live algae with dry algae during the larval phases. In addition to adding dried algae directly into the water column, it can also be incorporated in specialty feeds. It has been successfully tested on Penaeus vannamei.
It can also be used as a feed for Artemia, copepods and rotifers. It has been used to cultivate rotifers at exceptionally high densities. Because the nutritional properties of the algae are readily transferred to rotifers, rotifers can be used to deliver the nutrients of specific algae to specific larval stages of shrimp.
Sources: 1. World Aquaculture Society. The CD/Abstracts of World Aquaculture 2010. Revival of the Use of Algae for Functional Applications: The Current and Pervasive Trend in the Aquaculture Industry. Koen Vanhoutte (SBAE Industries, Hooiwege 40 Sleidinge, 9940, Belgium, email email@example.com). San Diego, California, USA, March 2010. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, July 26, 2010.
Wants Trade Agreement with European Union on Shrimp
Fisheries experts believe that achieving a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) will help Ecuador’s shrimp exports and the shrimp farming industry. Talks and workshops are being held all over the country on how to define the terms and conditions of a new trade agreement with Europe. In conjunction with the National Fisheries Institute and the National Chamber of Aquaculture, the first three workshops will concentrate on compliance with health regulations in the EU.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Ecuador Shrimp Producers Look to Trade Agreement with EU, Strengthening Shrimp Export Market. July 19, 2010.
Video—Close Up of a Shrimp Eating Something
For a great 14-second close up video of a shrimp eating something, click on the link in the Source below.
Source: YouTube. Live Shrimp Eating Food. July 13, 2010.
Arizona—21 Family Lines Challenged with IMNV
Summary: Although still being refined, the IMNV challenge method developed at the University of Arizona has shown promise as a tool to measure resistance in selected family lines of Penaeus vannamei.
The results discussed here were compiled from three separate challenges performed on vannamei from three Hawaii-based shrimp-breeding companies. Twenty-one family lines were challenged with IMNV. Overall, survival ranged from 7 to 54 percent in all family lines tested in 2009.
Mean survival of the Kona line positive controls was 95%, while mean survival of the negative controls was 96%. In all studies, IMNV infection was confirmed in the challenged shrimp.
Although still being refined, the IMNV challenge method described has shown promise as a useful tool to measure IMNV resistance in selected family lines of vannamei. Families that show high survival can potentially be used as broodstock to produce postlarvae for stocking into areas where IMNV is enzootic [native, endemic], as was previously done to produce TSV-resistant stocks for regions where TSV is enzootic.
Source: The Global Aquaculture Advocate. Editor, Darryl Jory (email@example.com). Innovation/Lab Challenge for Selection of IMNV-Resistant White Shrimp. Brenda L. White-Noble (firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Veterinary Sciences and Microbiology, University of Arizona, 1117 East Lowell, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA); and Donald V. Lightner, Ph.D., Kathy F.J. Tang, Ph.D., Rita Redman, H.T. [home trained]. Volume 13, Issue 2, Page-4, July/August 2010.
Hawaii—Marketing Locally Grown Lobster, Crab and Shrimp
Thanks to strong community support, the Big Island Fish Farmers Market will continue to offer fresh fish and seafood from island aquaculture farms on the last Friday of the month at the NELHA Gateway Center.
The non-profit organization Friends of NELHA has organizes the markets to support the innovative, sustainable aquaculture companies operating at the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii (NELHA).
Residents and island visitors have flocked to the market for affordable deals on sustainable, locally farmed fish and seafood such as Kona Cold Lobster and Dungeness crab, Big Island Abalone, Kona Kea Shrimp, sturgeon, tilapia and catfish. Other products from NELHA tenants, such as Kona Sea Salt, BioAstin and Spirulina Pacifica, are also available.
The next market is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Friday, July 30.
Source: Hawaii 24/7. Seafood Farmers Market at NELHA. July 27, 2010.
Mississippi—Soft-Shelled Crabs Sell for $36 to $40 a Dozen
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs has successfully raised blue crabs from wild caught larvae. Harriet Perry, director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at GCRL, said the larvae metamorphosed into tiny megalopa [big eyes, the last larval stage, sometimes called postlarvae] and then grew them to appetizer-sized, four-inch soft-shelled crabs at the Department of Marine Resources’ Lyman Hatchery. The scientists started with 400,000 larvae, and about 20 percent made it through to market size, said Perry. The goal for next year is to increase survivals to 30 percent.
Right after crabs shed their shells (molt), their new shells are very soft, and they can be fried and eaten whole. Perry said the idea of raising crabs started in the 1970s, when she met Lee Seymour, a Biloxi policeman, who operated a primitive crab-shedding business out of his home. “We went and looked at it and thought we could improve on it a little bit with some basic aquarium technology, said Perry.”
The goal of the research is to develop a process for farming soft-shelled crabs, which currently sell for $36 to $40 a dozen, she said.
Christine Trigg, hatchery supervisor at GCRL, said this is a species that nobody thought was a good candidate for farming. “We’ve done it. It’s exciting....”
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Mississippi Lab Successfully Grows Out Soft Shell Crabs from Larvae. 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). July 22, 2010.
Washington DC—Shrimp Imports Fall for Third Consecutive Month
On July 13, 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported that in May 2010, USA shrimp imports fell for the third consecutive month, down nearly ten percent, to 76.7 million pounds, from May 2009.
In fact, USA shrimp imports have dropped in 10 of the last 11 months.
Through the first five months of 2010, USA shrimp imports were down 5.1 percent, to just under 400 million pounds, from the same period last year.
USA’s shrimp imports from Indonesia were down more than 30 percent, to 53 million pounds. Thailand’s were up more than 13 percent, to 142.1 million pounds, and China’s were up 7.8 percent, to 33.8 million pounds.
Though a smaller player, Malaysia has significantly increased its shrimp exports to the USA. Malaysian shrimp exports reached 15.7 million pounds through May 2010, up nearly 24 percent from the same period in 2009.
Maryland—Video, Marvesta Shrimp Farm
For a two-minute video of Marvesta Shrimp Farm, an intensive, greenhouse-enclosed shrimp farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, click on the link in the Source below. The video includes some good views of the farm’s tanks, plumbing, equipment—and owners.
The video appeared on a TV station in Baltimore, Maryland. The TV commentator says: “With more than one-third of the Gulf Coast closed off to fishermen and shrimpers, the domestic seafood industry has been hit very hard, but one company sees these hard times as a chance to find new ways of growing and harvesting shrimp. ...It ships almost 130,000 pounds of fresh shrimp a year to restaurants from New York to California.”
Source: YouTube. Maryland Shrimp Farm. July 19, 2010.
Missouri—GAA/ACC—Kroger Supermarkets Adopt BAP Certification
Best Aquaculture Practices certification for farmed seafood has become a key element of the Seafood Sustainability Policy of Kroger Co., the United States’ largest traditional grocery retailer. Kroger operates over 2,400 grocery retail stores in 31 states under the names of Ralph’s, King Soopers, Dillons, Fry’s, City Market and others.
Kroger now requires its seafood suppliers to source product from BAP-certified aquaculture facilities and will require the Best Aquaculture Practices retail mark to appear on Kroger’s private-label shrimp, tilapia and channel catfish items soon.
In 2009, Kroger began a partnership with the Global Aquaculture Alliance, developer of the Best Aquaculture Practices standards, to further the sustainability of the global aquaculture industry. GAA is the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood, with over 1.3 billion pounds of shrimp, tilapia and catfish processed to BAP standards annually.
Information: Global Aquaculture Alliance, 5661 Telegraph Road, Suite 3A, St. Louis, Missouri 63129 USA (phone 1-314-293-5500, fax 1-314-293-5525, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.gaalliance.org).
Source: Global Aquaculture Alliance Update (a free email-based electronic newsletter that reports the latest news on GAA’s international activities). BAP Certification Key to Kroger Seafood Sustainability Policy. July 15, 2010.