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Friday, March 26, 2010

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Would You Feed Your Broodstock
Geckos in a Pinch?


This discussion took place on the Shrimp List, a mailing list for shrimp farmers:


Patrick Wood (patrickjwood@jahoo.com): In Ecuador, one night in 1983, I accidentally ran over and killed a dog at our farm camp.  Since it was dead, I decided to throw it into one of the shrimp ponds.  On harvest, there was nothing left of the dog.


David Griffith (drwgriffity@hotmail.com): So it was you!  You killed my dog.


Todd Blacher (toddblacher1@yahoo.com): I used to work at an indoor shrimp facility in Texas, and, on occasion, rats would fall from the rafters into the growout tanks and drown.  We never actually saw them fall, or found their bodies, but we found their very clean bones and skin in the tanks and their hair floating on the surface.


Phil Boeing: One of my favorite topics: What attracts shrimp to food?  Tri-methyl ammonia gets mentioned a lot.  You can put in it plaster of Paris and use it to bait crab and lobster traps.  It attracts freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium, too.  It’s the rotting seafood smell found around fishing boats, beaches and packing plants, the result of bacteria breaking down fish tissue.  Crustaceans and other organisms can pick up the smell from a long way off.


I have heard stories of fishermen rolling over floating bodies at the mouth of the Ganges River—to harvest huge shrimp (Penaeus indicus).


David Leong (david.leong@cpp.co.id): While working at a shrimp maturation facility, a gecko drowned in one of our tanks.  All the shrimp fought for possession of it.  They would even drop fresh polychaetes to chase after the shrimp carrying the gecko and then fight to take possession of it.  Maybe we need to look for other sources of protein and fats for our shrimp!  Who knows what critter is going to provide the next big breakthrough in shrimp maturation?


Laurence Evans (ecotao@yahoo.com): A possible cure for foot fungus too!  Just stand for a while in a pond full of shrimp, and they will soon be eating away at your toes.


Patrick Wood (patrickjwood@yahoo.com): I once saw movement (indicated by phosphorescent algae) on the surface of a nursery pond and investigated it.  I found stylies [P. stylirostris] (yes, in the good old days of wild larvae) swimming up-side-down and feeding on insects that were trapped on the pond’s surface.


That led to the idea of PAT (passive aeration technology), where underwater lights would attract insects, heat and slowly destratify the water, keep the algae growing at night, and lower night time oxygen demand.  Sadly research funds were not forthcoming.


Phil—the dog incident was before your time in Ecuador, but I did consider running you over several times and getting my promised but never materialized bonus with the satisfaction of a slightly better FCR....


Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subjects: pig - dog!; and In the Light of a Silvery Moon.  March 4–7, 2010.


Howard Newman and Desert Lake Technologies

Brine Shrimp Shipments Released


On March 22, 2010, Howard Newman, whose shipments of brine shrimp cysts from China were detained by the FDA, reported:


We are moving our container of 44,000 pounds of Artemia cysts from the Port of Oakland...and I also just received word that the container of marine polychaete worms has been released by the FDA!  Now all I need is to get a release on the 200 cases of decapsulated Artemia and my nightmare will be over.


I am pretty confident that there has been so much flak directed at the FDA/CVM that they are now trying to cover their butts by saying the product from China was misbranded and there were no labels.  However, each case, which is my minimum sales unit, had a label which clearly identified what was in each carton.


Information: Howard Newman, Desert Lake Technologies, Inc., P.O. Box 489, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601, USA (phone 1-541-885-6947, fax 1-541-885-6951, emails bshrimp@aol.com and hwnewman@desertlake.com, webpage http://www.desertlake.com).


Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Howard Newman on March 22, 2010.



Country Reports



Grand Bahama Shrimp Company Back in Business


Grand Bahama Shrimp Co., Ltd., which grows white shrimp in five ponds, is back in business after shutting its doors for nearly two years.  Sophia Thompson, CEO and a marine biologist, said, “The shrimp that we bring in [from Florida, USA] with the Department of Fisheries are certified, disease free, and they’ve been veterinary tested for all the common viruses or bacteria that are known in the shrimp industry before we even get them.”  Her farm produces 100 percent natural products, with no antibiotics, steroids or preservatives, and the shrimp are fed high protein shrimp feed from the USA.  “We’re getting ready to restock some of our ponds in two weeks,” she said.


Source: The Freeport News.  GB Shrimp Company Now Operating Again.  Nancoo-Russell (email krystal@nasguard.com).  March 10, 2010.


Eric De Muylder Puts Small-Scale, Bio-floc System on the Market


Eric De Muylder, owner of CreveTec, bvba, which does shrimp farm and feed consulting around the world, reports:


I am launching a new, small-scale, turnkey, shrimp-farming system called “CreveTope”.  You can check out the webpage I created for it at http://www.crevetope.be.


The system, jointly developed with Aquaculture Farming Technology, a company set up to explore the commercial possibilities of biofloc shrimp farming, produces 9,000 kilograms of shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) a year.



From the CreveTope Website


You can farm shrimp at high densities and small volumes throughout the year.


CreveTope is an ultra-intensive, zero-exchange, environmentally friendly, shrimp-farming system that utilizes biofloc technology.


When enclosed in a building or greenhouse, the system provides the best option for biosecurity and disease protection.


The system can be deployed anywhere, independent of climate and water source.


The system is equipped with biofloc reactors that allow the water to be reused from one growout cycle to the next.



System Specifications


• Space Requirement: ± 345 square meters (flexible, expandable)

• Minimum Height: ± 3 meters

• Water Temperature: 27-30° Celsius

• Salinity: 5-35 parts per thousand

• Growout Period: ± 180 days

• Average Feed Conversion Ratio: 1.5

• Harvest Weights: 18 to 32 grams


Installation, startup and support during the first year of production are included in the cost of the module.  Additional modules can be combined to expand production.  The system is designed for Penaeus vannamei, but it can also be used for P. monodon, in which case production drops to 2,500 kilograms a year.


CreveTec also custom-designs production facilities.


Information: Eric De Muylder, CreveTec, bvba, Nieuwenbos 43, 1702 Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium (phone +32-473-721004, email eric@crevetec.be, webpage http://www.crevetec.be).


Information: Leon Claessens, Aquaculture Farming Technology, Poststraat 8, 5801 BC Venray, The Netherlands (phone +31-0-6-14-898-768, fax +31-0-478-550054, email info@aquaculture-ft.com, webpage http://www.aquaculture-ft.com/en/index.html).


Sources: 1. Email from Eric de Muylder to Shrimp News International on March 15, 2010.  2. CreveTope website on March 15, 2010.


El Niño, La Niña—and El Modoki


In the past, whenever the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific turned warmer than normal in summer, climatologists would expect an El Niño year, then forecast when and where droughts, floods and hurricanes might occur.  That was before a study by Georgia Tech scientists, led by Hye-Mi Kim, deciphered the effects of another pattern in which high temperatures are confined to the central Pacific.  Now the already difficult field of atmospheric forecasting has become even trickier.


Called El Niño “Modoki” (Japanese for “similar but different”), it joins El Niño and La Niña (a cold-water phenomenon) as a major climate swing that emerges every few years.  A Modoki cycle triggers more storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean than normal and more tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic than El Niño does.  Another difference: Modoki’s precipitation patterns are the reverse of El Niño’s, making the American West, for instance, drier rather than wetter.  In 2009, despite early signs of a Modoki year, El Niño prevailed, resulting in the fewest Atlantic hurricanes since 1997.


The busiest hurricane seasons in the Atlantic tend to occur during La Niña years like 1998.  El Niño years, such as 1997, usually produce fewer hurricanes.  Modoki is a hybrid of sorts.  Its warm waters are like El Niño’s, but its storm totals are closer to La Nina’s.  Most years, however, are normal, and none of the three cycles occurs.


Source: National Geographic.  Department/Oceans/A New El Niño.  Tom O’Neill.  Volume 217, Number 3, March 2010.


European Union Inspection


Beginning in April 2010, the European Union (EU) will thoroughly check 20% of India’s aquaculture imports for antibiotics and microorganisms.  Currently, the EU only does random checks of aquaculture imports from India.


Anwar Hashim, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), said, “We don’t have detailed information on whether 20% of each consignment or 20% of the total consignments will be collected for testing.  We are awaiting further details about their decision.”


Sources close to this development said it would make shrimp exports to the EU, which is India’s biggest customer, very difficult.  It is likely that European importers will avoid Indian aquaculture products, especially shrimp, because the sampling and testing process will lead to a delivery lag of one to four weeks.


Source: FNBNews.com.  Indian Aquaculture Products to Undergo Tests Before Entering EU.  March 10, 2010.



History—Suharto’s Favorite Shrimp Farm


A government-owned fish farm, operated by Badan Layanan Umum Pandu Karawang, a public service agency, has 450 hectares of ponds along the cost of Karawang, West Java.  It’s attempting to get back on its feet after some tough times.  Built during the Suharto era (President of Indonesia from 1967 to 1998) in 1984, the farm had its golden years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, producing tens of thousands of tons of shrimp a year, just as aquaculture was beginning to boom across Indonesia.  It produced tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), which became one of the country’s most profitable fishery exports, marketed in Japan, the United States and Europe.


“This used to be one of Suharto’s favorite shrimp farms,” said Nardi, one of the farm’s workers.  He and the other workers bicycle around the farm twice a day, feeding the fish and shrimp as they peddle along the pond banks.  Nardi, who has worked at the farm since it was founded, said that Suharto often came to Karawang to see the “glorious” farming.  He said Suharto’s visits helped bring about improvements to roads and irrigation systems around Karawang, about 70 kilometers east of Jakarta.


But that was then, and this is now.  Despite the best efforts of Nardi and his fellow workers, the farm is far from healthy today.  Much of its equipment fell prey to looters in the aftermath of the 1997-1998 financial crisis, leaving it desolated and non-viable as a business until 2003.


“It was a hard time for me and my fellow workers to live during the vacuum and take care of this large shrimp farm without any financial support.  There was just me and about 70 workers here at that time, taking care of the place,” Nardi said.


In 2003, the government rebuilt the farm, and now it grows fish and shrimp.  Although it has been brought back to life, conditions are still far from their peak in the late 1980s.  The farm gets 40 percent of its funding from the government, and that still does not cover all its costs.  To increase its income, the farm has started to rent out some of its ponds to independent farmers.  About 60 of the 450 hectares are currently rented out.  The ponds are available on three-year leases, at $294 per hectare per year.


To attract more investors, the ministry plans to build a processing plant and cold storage facility.


Source: Jakarta Globe.  Indonesia’s Neglected Govt Fish Farms Seek Private Investors.  Arti Ekawati.  March 14, 2010.


CP Prima Raises Cash from Asset Sales


PT Central Proteinaprima (CP Prima) has raised $14 million from the sale of a subsidiary company’s cold storage and processing plants.  CP Prima, which has 50,000 hectares of shrimp ponds, will use the funds to improve its cash flow.


Source: The Jakarta Post.  CP Prima Books Rp 103 Billion from Asset Sales.  March 12, 2010.


Norwegian Lobster Farm


Using a patented process, Norwegian Lobster Farm (NLF), a Stavanger-based company with operations on the island of Kvitsøy, has developed the technology and methodology to produce juvenile and market-sized lobsters at land-based farms.


Established in 2000, NLF started the world’s first commercial production of northern lobsters in 2006, and it plans to build a 20-ton-a-year, breeding and production facility on Kvitsøy in 2010.  In 2011, it will begin expanding into commercial production with several 100-ton-a-year facilities in Europe.


In 2006-2007, NLF started breeding lobsters in captivity, and it is currently developing systems to produce juvenile lobsters year-round.  It also plans to construct the world’s first closed-cycle broodstock facility.


Since 2000, Hobas AS, an aquaculture engineering and technology supplier, has cooperated with NLF to design and develop its commercial production facilities.  The new facility, designed by Hobas, allows for year-round manipulation of water temperatures and light regimes.


Using image processing technology, NLF can follow the progress of individual lobsters as they move through the production cycle.  Automatic feeding of individual animals and self-cleaning tanks and cages keep labor costs down.  The recirculating aquaculture system conserves water, allows for higher stocking densities and operating temperatures, and permits easy access to the animals for inspection and maintenance.  After stocking, the animals can be harvested in 24-26 months.


The perfect market-size lobster is about 300 grams, the so-called plate size.  The quality of NLF’s farmed lobster has been tested and given a high rating by the Culinary Institute of Norway.


Source: Aquaculture Communications GroupFarming Lobsters the Future with Norwegian Technology [website slow to open].  December 14, 2009.

Saudi Arabia

NPC Hires Frédéric Millet


The National Prawn Company (NPC), the most successful shrimp farm in the Middle East, has hired Frédéric Millet as general manager of quality and sustainability.  Five departments report to him: Laboratory Services, Biosecurity, Research and Development, Quality Systems, and Environmental Protection and Management.


Source: Al Bawaba.  National Prawn Company Appoints General Manager of Quality and Sustainability.  March 3, 2010.


Molting Periods and Feed Management with Penaeus vannamei


In intensive shrimp farming, feed represents about 40 to 50 percent of farm operating costs.  During the molting period, shrimp eat less than normal.  To minimize feed losses and prevent overfeeding, shrimp farmers need to understand the molting cycle.


The objective of this study was to determine the molting periods of intensively reared Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) stocked at 80 PLs/m2 with salinities ranging from 20 to 25 parts per thousand.  Four earthen ponds located in Chantaburi Province (eastern Thailand) were used.  Aerators were positioning to clean the pond bottom.  Shrimp were fed a commercial pelleted feed.  The amount of feed was adjusted to body weight and consumption at feeding trays.  Feed consumption was recorded, and shrimp were periodically weighed and evaluated for their molting status during the 140-day study.  The researchers used data on weight, feed consumption and molts to determine molting periods.


The results showed that molting periods of white shrimp varied with body weight.  During the molting period for shrimp weighing 2 to 5 grams, shrimp ate less than normal for 2 days, then the feeding rate increased, taking 2 more days to get back to normal.  After that, the feeding rate continued to increase until the next molting cycle began.  Most shrimp molt at night from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.


In the morning, some of the molts can be found around the edges of the ponds or in the feeding trays.  For shrimp larger than 22 grams, molting takes place during neap tides or at the beginning of the high tide.  By knowing the molting period, shrimp farmers can predict its onset and reduce feed accordingly.  After a molt, wait 6 to 8 days before harvesting.


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 worldaqua@aol.com, webpage https://www.was.org/Main/Default.asp).


Source: The Abstracts of Asia Pacific Aquaculture 2009 (on CD).  Molting Periods and Feeding Management of Pond-Reared Litopenaeus vannamei.  Chalor Limsuwan (ffisntc@ku.ac.th), Niti Chuchird and Kesinee Laisutisan (Aquaculture Business Research Center, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand).  Malaysia, November 2009.


United Kingdom



Matt Pearce, a specialist in aquaculture technology at Meriden Animal Health Limited, reports:


We are based in the UK with a regional office in Malaysia and distribution centers in over 50 countries worldwide.  I’d like to introduce you to Orego-Stim®, a new product that increases return on investment in shrimp farming by lowering food conversion ratios and mortalities and increasing total harvest weights.  It is a 100% natural product based on the essential oils, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties.


From April to September 2009, we sponsored a field trial at a commercial Penaeus vannamei farm in Panama.  For every $1 spent on Orego-Stim®, this farm gained a return of $2.96 of extra profits from the investment.  Orego-Stim® can be applied at the farm level as a top coat on feed pellets, or as a liquid to be applied after extrusion at the feed mill.  The farmer said, “In this field trial...the Orego-Stim® Aquatract group produced 3.5 tons at harvest, compared to the control which produced 2 tons.  Harvest weight per hectare was 913 kilograms with Orego-Stim® Aquatract and 472 kilograms per hectare in the control groups.  These increased harvest weights gave me a 3:1 return on investment on the cost of Orego-Stim® Aquatract.”


Information: Juan B. Achurra C., La Morenita Shrimp Farm, Via Al Puerto, Entrando por la Estación Enerique Enseñat, Región Coclé, Panama (phone 507-6700-4580).


Information: Matt Pearce, International Technical Support Specialist, Meriden Animal Health Limited, Cranfield Innovation Centre, University Way, Cranfield Technology Park, Cranfield MK43 0BT, United Kingdom (phone 01234-436130, 01234-436131, cell phone 0044-0-7540-689697, email mattpearce@meriden-ah.com, webpage http://www.orego-stim.com).


Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Matt Pearce at Meriden Animal Health.  Subject: Orego-Stim Aquatract.  March 5, 2010.

United States

Arizona—Dr. Lightner’s Shrimp Disease Short Course


The 22nd University of Arizona Shrimp Pathology Short Course on Disease Diagnosis and Control in Marine Shrimp Culture will be held at the University of Arizona Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory on June 7-18, 2010.


Information: For a brochure that describes everything you need to know about the course, contact: Rita Redman or Dr. Donald Lightner, University of Arizona, Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, 1117 E. Lowell Street, Room 102, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA (phone 1-520-621-4438, fax 1-520-621-4899, Email ritar@email.arizona.edu or dvl@email.arizona.edu).


Information: Maxwell H. Mayeaux, Ph.D., Aquaculture Program Specialist, USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Waterfront Centre, Room 3155, 800 9th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA (phone 1-202-401-3352, fax 1-202-401-6156, email mmayeaux@nifa.usda.gov).


Source: Aquacontacts Mail Group News (USDA).  From: Maxwell Mayeaux (mmayeaux@nifa.usda.gov).  2010 Shrimp Pathology Short Course.  February 25, 2010.


United States

Mississippi—Seafood Labeling Bill Dies in Committee


A bill that would have required the labeling of all seafood served in Mississippi restaurants with country-of-origin information has died in the state Senate Agriculture Committee.


Source: GulfLive.com.  Seafood Labeling Bill Dies in Senate Agriculture Committee.  Harlan Kirgan.  February 23, 2010.


United States

Kentucky—Taco Bell’s New Shrimp Taco


Coinciding with the Lenten season and in keeping with an expanding line of more healthful fare, Taco Bell is offering a Pacific Shrimp Taco for a limited time.


The new taco features six non-fried shrimp marinated in a variety of Mexican spices, served in a warm flour tortilla and topped with shredded lettuce, salsa and avocado ranch sauce.  It’s the quick-service chain’s first system-wide seafood item since 1986, when it offered a “seafood salad,” and it is available a la carte for $2.79 and as part of two combination meals.


Robert Morast, who blogs about fast food, says, “Taco Bell’s Pacific Shrimp Taco might be the most aptly named item on the Mexi-American fast-food restaurant’s menu—because this taco is a ‘shrimp’.”


“And when they say it has ‘six’ shrimp, they aren’t talking about jumbo shrimp.  Buried under a stack of lettuce, diced tomatoes and an avocado ranch sauce that was tasted but not seen, these shrimp fit into the commercial buzz word of ‘light’.  Does that mean ‘light’, as in, low on calories?  Maybe (180 calories, according to Taco Bell).  But mostly it’s light in the sense that one of these tacos won’t fill you up.  ...For $3.20 with tax, you want something that’s more than an appetizer.”


“As for the shrimp, a worker described them as ‘rubbery’.  While it isn’t like eating a bubble-gum taco, these shrimp don’t exactly taste fresh either,” said Morast.


Sources: 1. Restaurant News.  Taco Bell Offers Shrimp Taco LTO.  Alan J. Liddle.  March 10, 2010.  2. Inforum.com.  Fast-Food Review: Taco Bell’s New Pacific Shrimp Taco Not Very Filling.  Robert Morast.  March 17, 2010.

United States

North Carolina—Why Don’t We Just Give Shrimp Away?


Harris Teeter, a chain of supermarkets in the southeast, ran this shrimp add: Buy two, two-pound bags of EZ peel white shrimp, and get three more for free.


Source: News-Record.com.  Deals on Groceries This Week.  Mike Fuchs.  February 25, 2010.


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