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Cyclone Yasi Swamps Seafarm, Inc.

Australia’s Largest Shrimp Farm

 

 

In the predawn hours of February 3, 2011, Cyclone Yasi, a huge storm with winds up to 185 miles per hour, made landfall along the coast of the already storm-battered state of Queensland.

 

February 2, 2011: Located eight kilometers south of Cardwell in north Queensland, Seafarm is Australia’s largest shrimp farm.  Cyclone Yasi will most likely make its landfall within inches of Cardwell.  Seafarm’s Gary Davis says the expected tidal surge will cause havoc.  “We are quite safe with the houses at the top end of the farm, but we’ve got power that will definitely go under.  And when we lose power, we’ll lose the ability to keep the shrimp alive.”  He thinks he’s going to lose a lot of shrimp.  “This is potentially very devastating.”  He says many people have evacuated, but he is staying because he has a sturdy house, and it would be more dangerous to leave than to stay.

 

February 8, 2011: Every hour of every day since Cyclone Yasi struck northern Queensland, the town of Cardwell has been fighting for its survival.  Seafarm, the town’s largest employer and the country’s third largest producer of shrimp, is just one of hundreds of businesses along the coastline and hinterland of the devastated region struggling to stay afloat, retain their customers and salvage what is left after last week’s cyclone.

 

Seafarm, about 10 kilometers south of Cardwell, employs 160 people and is struggling to keep more than $2 million worth of shrimp alive—with no power to run the aerators.

 

General manager Trevor Anderson said the company’s farms at Innisfail and Mosman would keep their business viable and their customers supplied, but the Cardwell operation was working 16 hours a day, moving generators from pond-to-pond to aerate the water and provide oxygen for the banana shrimp [Penaeus merguiensis], sold as “Crystal Bay Prawns”.

 

“We are already losing shrimp, they are dying slowly,” he said.  “We have employees here that have been working all day and into the night since the cyclone hit to keep this operation going, even though they have their...own problems at home.”

 

“Some of the equipment has been repaired and is working, and we are gradually getting to aerate the ponds.”

 

“It is an hour-by-hour, day-by-day fight.  It is all about keeping these shrimp alive.”

 

Anderson said the operation would lose shrimp and that it would take about six months to get back on course.

 

“We have to hold on to our markets and supply our customers, and we will do that.  But I guess the message to get out to people is not to drop us and go for the cheaper shrimp because that would really hurt us and our employees.”

 

Sources: 1. The New York Times.  Cyclone Lashes Storm-Weary Australia.  Meraiah Foley.  February 3, 2011.  2. ABC Rural.  Cyclone Yasi to Devastate Australia’s Largest Prawn Farm.  Jane Paterson.  February 2, 2011.  3. The Australian.  Prawn Farm Fighting to Save Stock.  Michael McKenna.  February 8, 2011.

 

 

Country Reports

China

Eric De Muylder’s New Project in Shanghai

 

Eric De Muylder, owner of CreveTec bvba, which has developed a super-intensive, biofloc, shrimp farming system, reports:

 

We recently installed a CreveTope indoor farm in Shanghai, China.  This farm works with bioflocs and a bioreactor and no water exchange.  It aims to produce large Penaeus vannamei (25-30 grams) for the local market.  Capacity is 25 tons a year.  We also have installed a smaller unit in Italy, which will be expanded this year.  We expect to install four more units this year.

 

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).

 

Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Eric De Muylder.  Subject: Indoor Shrimp Farm in Shanghai.  February 7, 2011.

China

Shrimp Feeds—Uni-President Enterprise Corp.

 

In Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces, where almost 70% of the country’s shrimp is farmed, the top shrimp feed producers, Yue Hai, Evergreen, Haid, Tongwei and Chai Tai (Charoen Pokphand), produce almost 520,000 metric tons of shrimp feed annually.

 

A medium size player in this immense market is Uni-President Enterprise Corp., a feed, food and beverage multinational from Taiwan that set up a shrimp/eel feed mill in Zhongshan, China, in 1995 with an investment of $19.4 million.

 

Currently, it produces 10,000 metric tons of marine shrimp feed a year.  Its feed mill, like all small-to-medium-size feed mills in China, is unable to compete in the high-volume, low-margin, carp-feed market, which is left to large companies like Haid, Tongwei and New Hope.

 

Uni-President has another feed mill in Shanghai that produces mainly shrimp, crab, fish and frog feed.  Jie-Cheng Chuang, general manager, has been responsible for both companies since June 2009.  He was previously Vice President of Uni-President Vietnam.  Here are some of his thoughts on the shrimp feed business:

 

“Our current focus is on the production of pelleted and extruded feeds for integrated and intensive culture of tilapia....  Some years ago, the company shifted away from shrimp feed production because of high mortality due to diseases, sometimes up to 100% of a crop.  In contrast, with fish, the mortality rate is much lower.”

 

“Recently, with the projected expansion of shrimp farming...our turn around plans have included shrimp feed production.  One of the drawbacks of shrimp farming is the lack of good quality postlarvae.  ...We are just beginning to work with a branded Penaeus vannamei postlarvae producer to acclimatize PL-6s to lower salinities and supply farmers at inland freshwater farms.”

 

“The specifications for almost all aquatic feeds were determined by the centralized Agriculture Department and we are required to follow these standards.  Here [China], it is easy to start manufacturing a new type of feed as each provincial office is allowed to issue a manufacturing license.  In Vietnam, we were required to conduct trials before a feed specification for a particular feed was approved.  Our feed formulations are developed in-house in Taiwan for species common to both countries, but for China-only species, we conduct our R&D in China itself.”

 

“Currently, our distribution network covers the whole of Guangdong and Hainan provinces.  We will be expanding capacity of the mill in Zhongshan City to twice its current capacity.  There are also plans to set up a new feed mill in Western Guangdong to be nearer Hainan Island.”

 

Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email zuridah@aquaasiapac.com).  Aqua Feed Production in South China.  Volume 7, Number 1, Page 20, January/February 2011.

Ecuador

The SLA Aquaculture Group on Yahoo

 

Juan Aguirre (jxaguirre58@yahoo.com): There’s been an interesting exchange on the SLA List (Sociedad Latinoamericana de Acuacultura, a mailing list with 2,725 members that operates on Yahoo Groups, just like the Shrimp List) about shrimp genetic programs.  The topics on this list are practical and focused on commercial production.  It would be nice to have some input from Shrimp List members.  I’ve recently posted (in Spanish) some notes on shrimp genetics to the SLA List.

 

Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: SLA Shrimp Genetic Programs Postings.  February 2, 2011.

Iran

Funding for Shrimp Farming in Khuzestan Province

 

Located at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, Khuzestan Province has allocated $1 million to the development of shrimp farming around Abadan. It has also purchased postlarvae from domestic and international companies for shrimp farmers.  The fund has helped set up 16 shrimp farming sites in the Chou’badeh region of Abadan.

 

Source: Zawya.com.  Financial Support for Shrimp Breeders.  February 6, 2011.

Mariana Islands

Saipan Aquaculture Co., Inc.

 

Mel Catalma, General Manager of Saipan Aquaculture Co., a small shrimp farm on the island of Saipan that sells its crop to local markets and restaurants, reports:

 

Saipan Aquaculture Co., Inc., is the only commercial shrimp farm in the Northern Mariana Islands.  We have been in operation for five years, growing Penaeus vannamei.  The facility has 32 concrete tanks (16,000 square meters) and several canvas and fiberglass-reinforced plastic tanks.  Because of the tropical weather, we can produce shrimp year round with a monthly production of about 6,000 pounds, mostly sold fresh locally.  We never freeze our shrimp.  We have also shipped to Guam and to Tacoma, Washington, USA, and we are included in the worldwide directory of suppliers for the USA Military.

 

We operate our own hatchery and breeding program.  Our farm serves as an experimental testing ground for new strains from our breeding program.  We have a five-year disease free record, checked by the University of Arizona Pathology Laboratory, and we have been exporting broodstock for four years now.  We have exported broodstock to Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan.  We have the capacity to produce up to 100,000 broodstock a year.

 

Our breeding program is in partnership with Vannamei 101 of Thailand, which provides the training and technical support for our genetic program.  David Kawahigashi and Dr. Matthew Briggs directly oversee the program, and they also provide technical support to our customers.

 

Information: Mel Catalma, General Manager, Saipan Aquaculture Co., Inc., PO Box 501808, Saipan MP 96950, USA (phone 1-670-233-4779, fax 1-670-235-9455, mobile, 1-670-287-4985, email melcatalma@saipanaquaculture.com, webpage http://www.saipanaquaculture.com).

 

Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Mel Catalma.  Subject: Saipan Aquaculture.  February 6, 2011.

Netherlands

WWF/ASC Poised to Launch Certification Standards for Farmed Shrimp

 

Co-founded in 2009 by the World Wide Fund (WWF) and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is poised to launch its certification standards for shrimp.  Jose Villalon, director of aquaculture for WWF, said the standards should be completed by the end of March 2011.  “After the completion of each standard, there’s a period of about six to eight months to complete the guidance document for implementation,” said Villalon.  “Obviously, the ASC can’t do anything until they receive that guidance document.  ...ASC is about improvement over time.”

 

Villalon said when our “outreach” is completed and the major retailers and foodservice suppliers understand the ASC difference, “That’s when you’ll see the value of what we’re doing.”

 

Philip Smith, CEO of the ASC, acknowledged that while a huge amount of emphasis has been placed on the WWF-directed Aquaculture Dialogue process, lots of attention is needed elsewhere, such as a thorough look at chain-of-custody assessments.

 

Peter Hajipieris, director of sustainability and external affairs with Birds Eye Iglo and a member of the ASC supervisory board, said the first ASC-branded products are likely to appear in retail markets toward the end of 2011.  He said work is still being done on the design of the ASC logo that will be used on ASC-certified products.

 

This is the first time an aquaculture standard has been created under the ISEAL (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance) code.

 

Information: Jose Villalon, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037-1193, USA (phone 1-202-778-9625, email jose.villalon@wwfus.org, webpage http://www.wwf.org).

 

Source: SeafoodSource.com.  Editor Steven Hedlund (shedlune@divcom.com).  Aquaculture Council Enters Implementation Phase.  Jason Holland.  February 3, 2011.

Thailand

New Shrimp Feeder

 

Prayoon Hongrat, the owner of Sureerath Farm, an organic shrimp farm with 167 ponds (average size 0.64 hectares) in Chanthaburi Province (220 kilometers east of Bangkok), recently revealed one of the secrets of his success, the third generation of his automatic shrimp feeder.  The feeder can be adjusted for various feed sizes and feeding times, calculated so that in some cases the shrimp will eat the feed within 10 seconds, so that no feed reaches the pond bottom!  Prayoon says once the feeder is properly adjusted, the farmer can expect the following benefits: a 30% reduction in feed conversion ratio, better average daily growth, uniform shrimp size, less scarring on the shrimp shell, better water quality and lower labor costs.  Germany’s Naturland certified Sureerath Farm’s shrimp as “organic” three years ago.

 

Prayoon’s Installation Instructions:

 

“The feeder should be installed at a distance of 15 meters from the dyke in an area where the water depth is at least 1.5 meters.  It is important that the radius of feed dispersion does not overlap the dyke and sludge area.”

 

“The feeder must be positioned at least 80 centimeters above the water surface.  Each feeder is for 700,000 shrimp, and if the pond has more shrimp, then there should be more feeders.  If there are two or more feeders in the pond, the feed radius around each feeder should be reduced.  Each auto feeder can load 140 kilograms of feed.  The check tray must be in areas where the feed drops and should be positioned 10 centimeters above the pond bottom.”

 

Prayoon feeds manually until day 20-25 of culture and then turns on the automatic feeders.  At 6-7 a.m. and 6-7 p.m., he uses check trays to monitor the amount of feed consumed.  If the shrimp do not finish the feed, the amount is reduced by 3%, achieved by reducing the feeding time.

 

Information: Prayoon Hongrat, Sureerath Farm, 105 Moo 13, Paknam Laemsing, Laemsing, Chanthaburi 22130, Thailand (phone +66-(0)-39-363-075, fax +66-(0)-39-363-721, email info@sureerathprawns.com, webpage http://www.sureerathprawns.com/display/contactus.htm).

 

Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email zuridah@aquaasiapac.com).  A Thai Farmer’s Innovation: The Shrimp Auto Feeder.  Soraphat Panakorn (january161975@hotmail.com, Novozymes Biological Aqua Business Unit, Asia Pacific Region) and Panupong Petchkaew (panupong_live@inteqc.com, Inteqc Feed Co., Ltd., Thailand).  Volume 7, Number 1, Page 40, January/February 2011.

Thailand

Charoen Pokphand Foods, Shrimp Farming and Mangrove Restoration

 

On February 14, 2011, Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), which runs one of the largest shrimp farming operations in the world, launched a mangrove-reforestation campaign to raise awareness among young people of environmental protection.  Ronachai Toanan, the leader of corporate social responsibility projects for CPF’s aquaculture business, said the first activity will involve a group of students from Ramkhamhaeng University who will plant 213,000 mangrove seedlings on a 48-hectare track in Rayong Provinces’s Klaeng District.

 

CPF began launching mangrove-reforestation projects 19 years ago, most of them carried out by employees, shrimp farmers and coastal communities.  It also extended financial help to Wetlands International (Thailand) for some reforestation programs.

 

Satellite photos show that Thailand’s mangrove forests have grown from 167,548 hectares in 1996 to 252,751 hectares in 2004, thanks to reforestation projects funded by private organizations and government agencies.

 

Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  Thailand’s CPF Helps Restore Mangrove Forests.  Ken Coons (kencoons@seafood.com).  February 11, 2011.

United States

Nevada—Ganix Bio-Technologies’ Webpage

 

Ganix Bio-Technologies is building a 36,000-square-foot shrimp farm in North Las Vegas, Nevada.  Housed in a long, sleek, modernistic-looking, greenhouse-like structure covered with a tight white skin, the farm hopes to harvest 500,000 pounds of shrimp a year from modular growout tanks that hold 100,000 shrimp each.

 

Information from the Ganix Website: Our primary aquaculture product is a shrimp farming system with a 120-day growout cycle and three crops a year.  With our unique production process, our goal is to supply fresh, never frozen, shrimp to our customers daily, throughout the year.  The unique process also allows Ganix™ to build a low cost shrimp aquaculture facility that is easily scalable for close proximity to major markets.  The sustainability of the process could eliminate a large portion of the United States reliance on the purchase of seafood products from abroad.  The process is conducted with zero impact on the environment because there is zero water discharge.  All waste is managed within the closed system.

 

Shrimp will be produced in the most popular sizes: 16-20 counts per pound, 26-30 counts per pound, 31-50 counts per pound, or as demand dictates.

 

Ganix’s™ aquaculture growth plan includes an expansion of our research and development facility in Newburg, North Dakota, as well as construction of a full-scale production facility in southern Nevada.

 

Information: Scott McManus, Ganix Bio-Technologies, Inc., 10501 West Gowan Road, Suite 200, Las Vegas, Nevada 89129, USA (phone 1-702-463-0500, fax 1-702-463-0600, email info@ganix.net, webpage http://www.ganix.net/index.html).

 

Source: Ganix Bio-Technologies, Inc.  Aquaculture.  Website.  February 7, 2011.

United States

Washington DC—Will the Dumping Duties Ever End?

 

The USA International Trade Commission (ITC) is likely to vote in mid-March 2011 on whether import tariffs imposed on shrimp imports from South American and Asian countries—including Thailand, China, Brazil, India and Vietnam—should be extended until 2016.

 

On February 1, 2011, USA shrimp fishermen, at a hearing before the ITC, argued that because of damage from the Gulf oil spill and hurricanes, they need the USA to extend the tariffs.

 

The tariffs were initially imposed after the ITC found that shrimp imports were likely to hurt USA shrimp fishermen and processors.  In fact, many were driven out of business five years ago because cheap imports were being dumped on the USA market at unfair prices.  The tariffs brought in approximately $186 million for the USA industry in the past five years.

 

Senators such as Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran have joined the fight.  Landrieu said that the USA industry, primarily comprised of small family shrimping businesses, is no match for large foreign businesses that are importing significant amounts of underpriced shrimp into the USA.

 

Source: EwireInformer.com.  Fight to Extend US Shrimping Import Tariffs Likely to Go to Vote in March.  February 2, 2011.

United States

Washington DC—Live Briefing on NOAA’s Aquaculture Policy

 

NOAA’s Aquaculture Program staff will host a telephone briefing on its new draft aquaculture policies on February 23, 2011, at 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  These calls are free and open to the public.  Call number 1-800-369-1823, Passcode “Aquaculture”.

 

To view the draft NOAA Policy, click here.

 

To view the draft Commerce policy, click here.

 

For more information, go to the NOAA Aquaculture Program website, http://aquaculture.noaa.gov.

 

Source: News Flash.  NOAA Aquaculture Program.  Email to Shrimp News International from the NOAA Aquaculture Program.  Subject:  Informational Briefings on Draft Aquaculture Policies Set for Feb. 16, and 23.  February 15, 2011.

Vietnam

Commercial Lobster Diets Cheaper Than Trash Fish Diets

 

The aim of this paper was to conduct a bioeconomic analysis of lobster growout farming in Vietnam and analyze the cost effectiveness of potential manufactured feed diets for these farms.

 

Lobster farming is a high-cost, high-return industry.  Approximately 60% of total costs are feed related, and the current trash fish feeds vary in quality and price.  Hence, reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of feeding should bring higher and more stable prices.  Manufactured diets could improve the profitability of individual farmers by $15,000 a year and the entire industry by $24 million a year.  This could double to $48 million a year if the diets have the added benefit of reducing disease through the inclusion of vitamins and other additives.

 

Source: Journal of the World Aquaculture Society.  Bioeconomic Analysis of Improved Diets for Lobster, Panulirus ornatus, Culture in Vietnam.  Elizabeth H. Petersen (School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia) and Truong H. Phuong.  Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 1–11, February 2011.

Vietnam

Vannamei Farming in Binh Dinh Province

 

The western white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) was introduced to Binh Dinh Province along Vietnam’s Central Coast in 2004.  Since then production has gradually increased.  In 2010, white shrimp were farmed in 883 hectares of ponds, 32 percent of the total shrimp farming area.  Production was over 5,000 metric tons, accounting for 85 percent of total shrimp production.  Some farms yielded 12 metric tons per hectare.

 

Source: Vietfish International.  Sustainable Development of Whiteleg Shrimp.  January 31, 2011.

 
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