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Friday, January 7, 2011

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Magdalena Shrimp Farm For Sale






Garry Grant represents the seller of the Magdalena Shrimp Farm, a 500-acre, extensive shrimp farm with 15 large ponds in Baja California Sur, Mexico.  It has not operated for the past four years, and the diesel engines that run the pumps have been removed.  All the pumps, water control structures, canals and ponds are in place.  No hatchery or processing plant. The photo to the right was retouched by the sellers to show the position of the ponds.


The American owners want $6.5 million for the farm.


Other Features:


• Over 4,000 acres of subtropical land

• One mile of beachfront on the Pacific Ocean

• A ten-year business license for the shrimp farm

• Direct access to Highway 1, the main business artery on the Baja Peninsula

• Direct access to a private airstrip with an easement onto the property
and nearby city airports

• Power on property


How Safe Is Your Investment?


Mexico’s foreign investment law permits Mexican corporations, including those with 100% foreign ownership, to acquire direct title to property for development purposes on the Baja California Peninsula.  Property can be developed for any use, including residential and commercial use.  These corporations can be 100% owned by foreign individuals, foreign LLC’s, foreign corporations or other foreign business entities.  You will own it, and no entity, governmental or private, can make a claim on your property!


Inspect the Farm: Pre-qualified investors, who travel to Cabo San Lucas or La Paz, Baja California Sur, will be given meals, accommodations and a helicopter and walking tour of the farm.


Information: For a PDF of the sales brochure (pictures, maps, more details) describing this project, contact, Garry Grant (email, phone 1-949-413-6802).


Sources: 1. Email with PDF Attachment to Shrimp News International from Garry Grant December 15, 2010.  2. Email exchanges and a brief telephone conversation with Garry Grant on December 31, 2010.  3. Brief telephone conversation with project manager in Mexico on December 31, 2010.



Country Reports


The Gambia—West African Aquaculture Limited?


[Editor, I’m not sure if the following recently published report is new news, or if it was based on a report that’s five years old?  You decide.]


On December 21, 2010, posted this story to its website: A new company, West African Aquaculture Limited, has purchased the assets of Scan-Gambia Shrimp Limited.  The new owners have rehabilitated the infrastructure and installed new equipment and machinery at the hatchery and at the farm, which is up and running and farming an indigenous species [probably Penaeus notialis, native to warm waters on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea].


Background from 2005: In the October 2005 issue of Aquaculture News (the newsletter of Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland), Dr. Janet Brown commented on a 2004 visit to Scan-Gambia, described at the time “as the only shrimp farm in West Africa”.  Her report also says West African Aquaculture Limited purchased Scan-Gambia Shrimp Limited, but she said it six years ago.


Dr. Brown said: I was there as part of a Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC)/World Bank project, “Joint Regional Study on Market Led Opportunities: Development in Shrimp Farming”.  The project, led by Pape Thiem of the World Bank and Sunhilt Schumacher of SWAC, seeks ways to make shrimp farming profitable in West Africa.  I was the “shrimp farming technical expert” on the project, part of a team of consultants led by Stirling University graduate John Dallimore of INC Partners.


Margot and Lennart Hansson were granted the lease on the shrimp farm and named it West Africa Aquaculture.  It is on a 250-hectare site on a small tributary of the Gambia River.  It was first developed by Scan-Gambia in the late 1980s, but has been abandoned since 1990, so it needs extensive renovation.  Currently, 15 ponds are operational and 50 people are employed on the farm and 15 in the hatchery.  During harvests, the processing plant employs local people.  The farm manager is Mr. Rao from Andhra Pradesh, India.  The farm has an Ecuadorian design with 4-hectare ponds and lots of pumps.  The ponds are stocked at low densities with Penaeus monodon.  All the commercial feed has to be imported; all feeding is done at night.  Since the growing season for shrimp is from March to November, the farm uses solar heated raceways to get a jump on the season.  In The Gambia, where electricity is either unavailable or hugely expensive, the farm depends on twelve, large, diesel generators.


Background from 1999: The March 1999 issue of Fish Farming International carried this ad for the farm: For Sale.  Complete Shrimp Culture Project.  Farm (52, 4-hectare ponds).  Hatchery (10 million PLs per month).  Pump (250 m3 per minute).  Offices, stores, workshops, freezer, cold storage and ice plant.  Located 40 kilometers from an international seaport and 25 kilometers from Banjul International Airport.


Sources: 1.  Gambia: Overview of the Local Fisheries Sector.  Amadou Jallow.  December 21, 2010.  2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, January 5, 2011.



Farmed Shrimp Given Highest Sustainability Rank


Dr. Brett Glencross, a world authority on aquaculture nutrition at Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), said, “I’d rather eat farmed fish than wild fish.”  He crunched the numbers on a series of sustainability criteria published by the World Wildlife Fund, and then ranked all the Australian aquaculture species according to how well they scored on those criteria.  Australian farmed shrimp received the highest score, followed by barramundi, salmon, oysters and trout.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  Australian Aquaculture Scores High on Sustainability, Especially for Farmed Barramundi, Prawns.  Matt Shivers (  December 17, 2010.


Pirates/Gangsters Rob Shrimp Farms




The 13 unions and farmer groups that make up Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA) have sent a letter to Rafael Correa Delgado, the President of Ecuador, asking him to stop the rampant attacks on shrimp farms by criminals.


Segundo Calderón, chairman of the Guild of Shrimp Producers in El Oro Province (on the southern edge of the Gulf of Guayaquil), said, “The Navy is unable to protect us, so when 15 to 20 heavily armed men attack us, we cannot defend ourselves.”  Most crimes go unreported because of fear of reprisals, and no official statistics exist.  In each assault roughly 10,000 to 15,000 pounds of shrimp (about 4.5 to 6 tons) is taken, representing approximately $25,000.  The pirates hit the small and medium-size farms and mostly avoid the big operations.  They might arrive in police or military uniforms to catch the farm off guard.


Cesar Monge, president of the CNA, says the industry needs police protection and help from the government, which, in 2009, banned the use of weapons to protect shrimp farms, leaving the farmers defenseless.  To strengthen the safety and security of their operations, the farmers want a change in the weapons laws.


The gangsters also demand “protection”.  “We pay for information that lets us know what day we will be attacked,” complained Monge.


Sources: 1. FIS United StatesShrimp Producers Require Measures to Curb Thefts.  Silvina Corniola (  December 17, 2010.  2. FIS United StatesShrimp Industry Experiences Considerable Growth.  Silvina Corniola (  December 15, 2010.


Export Statistics


According to statistics from the National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA), between January and October 2010, Ecuador exported 266.3 million pounds of shrimp, up 17 percent over the same period in 2009, generating revenues of $591.1 million.  The main destinations were Europe (65%) and the United States (32%).  Farmers pay as much as $2,000 a month to protect their farms from robberies, a big burden for small farms.


The shrimp farming industry has recovered from an overall loss of $66 million in 2009.


Source: FIS United StatesShrimp Industry Experiences Considerable Growth.  Silvina Corniola (  December 15, 2010.


Godrej Agrovet Buys Gold Coin’s Feed Business in India


In July 2006, the Gold Coin Group, one of East Asia’s largest shrimp feed companies, and Godrej Agrovet, one of India’s largest animal feed companies, formed a joint venture in India that consolidated their aqua feed businesses.


Now, the $2.6 billion Godrej Group, which sells everything from furniture to apartments, is in the process of buying out Gold Coin’s 51 percent stake in the joint venture, bringing to a close the four-year partnership.


Nadir Godrej, managing director of Godrej Industries, confirmed the purchase, but declined to reveal the purchase price.


Established in Singapore in 1953, Gold Coin is one of the largest privately owned feed businesses in East Asia, employing 2,400 people at 23 production facilities across nine countries.  It’s part of the Zuellig Group, an Asian multinational with interests in healthcare, pharmaceutical distribution and agribusiness, which generates approximately $12 billion in annual sales.


A top Godrej Group official said, “We will merge Godrej Gold Coin Aquafeed with Godrej Agrovet, which is our flagship for the animal feeds business.  ...We are seeing sales at the JV grow almost 50 percent year on year, while this year operating profits have grown by 23 percent.”


The acquisition of Gold Coin’s stake is the second major acquisition by the group in the animal feed business.  In 2000, Godrej acquired its largest competitor—Goldmohur Foods and Feeds—a Unilever group company.  Today, the business division has 40 production units across the country and more than 22 percent market share in the compound feed market.


As a result of strong volume growth experienced by the business, the company is planning to set up new feed mill capacities across India.  Aqua feed in particular has seen strong volume growth in the quarter ended September 2010 on rising demand from fish and shrimp farmers.


Frozen shrimp exports account for almost half of India’s seafood exports.  During the first half of 2010-2011, exports increased by ten percent in volume and 28 percent in value.


India started farming the Western white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in 2010, and its production has already added to India’s impressive growth in seafood exports.  “We have recently introduced feed for the intensive culture of white shrimp....  This is doing extremely well and will be followed by other product introductions,” said the Godrej official.


Source:  Godrej to Buy Out Feed Venture Partner.  Yassir A. Pitalwalla and Meghna Maiti.  December 14, 2010.


Government Acquires 20,000 Acres for Crab and Shrimp Farming


Ghulam Mohammad Mahar, Director General of Sindh Fisheries, said the government has acquired 20,000 acres for crab and shrimp farming in southern Sindh Province.


Source:  Land Acquired for Shrimps, Crab Farming.  December 17, 2010.


Government Encourages Shrimp Farmers to Insure Their Crops


Somying Piumsombun, director-general of the Fisheries Department, encourages shrimp farmers to purchase insurance to cover risks like floods and disease.


This year’s floods ravaged more than 11,000 hectares of shrimp and fish farms, costing the government about $6.6 million in payments to farmers.  To lessen the Government’s insurance expenses, the Fisheries Department and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have been working on the design of a new insurance policy that would cover aquatic farms.


Pongpat Boonchuwong, the department’s senior economist, said that Puma International Insurance had helped develop the project together with local insurers.


Initially, Dhipaya Insurance and Ayudhya Allianz CP would provide insurance for shrimp farmers.


Source: Bangkok Post.  Business/Fishery Insurance Promoted.  December 28, 2010.

United States

California—Shrimp News News


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Source: Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, January 5, 2011.

United States

New York—The Wegmans/Belize Aquaculture Connection


Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Wegmans is a privately held, family-owned supermarket chain that was founded in 1916 by the Wegman family.  Danny Wegman is CEO, and Colleen Wegman, his daughter, is president.  Robert Wegman, Danny’s father, was chairman until his death in April 2006.  In 2009, Wegmans had annual sales of $5.15 billion.  It employs over 38,000 people and operates 76 stores: 48 in New York State, 14 in Pennsylvania, 7 in New Jersey, 6 in Virginia and 1 in Maryland.



From Wegmans’ Website


Saying that we have the best shrimp in the world is quite a claim.  But our seafood department team, together with Sir Barry Bowen, his son Michael, and Belize Aquaculture, Ltd.—the shrimp farm that supplies our shrimp—are making it happen.


Developing standards that go above and beyond any in the shrimp farming industry, Wegmans and BAL are proud of the delicious shrimp that come from this award-winning facility.  But they’re equally proud that this shrimp comes from a facility designed to protect Belize’s environmentally sensitive coastline.


In 1996 founder Barry Bowen said: “My primary objective was to develop an environmentally friendly shrimp farm in Belize, a shrimp farm with no effect on the environment.”


“Our desire was and is to set new standards in quality, efficiency and the environmental impact of shrimp aquaculture…no antibiotics, rapid harvest, so no chemical preservatives are needed, and processing that must be the highest standard in the world.”


Carl Salamone, Wegmans Seafood Department Vice President, said, “It’s all about the breed, the feed and the speed.”  Everything about this shrimp is unique—its distinctive dark coloring is a natural result of the shrimp adapting to the black pond bottom.  ...Once people see it and taste it, they want more.  BAL is striving toward 100% vegetable feed for its shrimp (as opposed to fish meal) to help preserve the world’s fish population.  Home-grown algae is used in shrimp diets and for water purification, another BAL innovation.


Developed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, Wegmans’ standards for accepting products from shrimp farms are the highest in the industry.


The Bowen family was well established in Belize and they were committed to protecting the beauty of their homeland—its marine life, mangrove forests and coastline.  Among the reasons we chose to partner with BAL was that their operation was so complete.  They could monitor the shrimp from hatching to harvest to processing to shipping.  Everything was in one place.


Source: Wegmans’ Website.  Bringing Home the World’s Best Shrimp.  Karen Noske.  Website visit on December 28, 2010.

United States

Washington DC—FDA Inspects


Richard Gutting, writing in Urner Barry’s Foreign Trade Alerts, says he has obtained a spreadsheet from FDA listing seafood import rejections year-to-date for 2010.  The FDA has stopped updating this information on its website at the moment, and it is not clear when it will resume.  Gutting’s summary of the data shows importers are correct in thinking that rejections have increased in 2010.  Last year, for example, the FDA refused entry on 1,597 items, and so far this year, it has rejected 1,940 items.  Gutting expects the total to exceed 2,000 by year’s end.  This means an increase in rejections of 25%, presumably based on higher inspection volume.


FDA Rejection by Country
Country Rejections Percent
Bangladesh 68 4
China 291 15
Indonesia 281 14
Philipines 85 4
Surinam 60 3
Thailand 173 9
Vietnam 194 10
Table prepared by Dick Gutting
So far in 2010
FDA Reason for Rejection
Reason # Items Percent
Filthy* 572 30
Salmonella 353 18
Listeria 77 4
Histamine 23 1
Antibiotics 131 7
* Or not classified elsewhere
Table prepared by Dick Gutting
So far in 2010



Imports from Asia continue to have the highest level of rejection, accounting for 56% of all rejections.


Reasons for rejection continue to be primarily filth and salmonella, which together account for 48% of all rejections.  Animal drug residues accounted for only 7% of all product rejections.


Gutting ( has made the entire spreadsheet of 2010 FDA rejections available to subscribers of Foreign Trade Alerts from Urner Barry.


Importers have noted a more aggressive level of inspections by FDA for imported seafood, and these numbers are the first objective confirmation that a plan is in place nationally for a higher level of inspection of seafood imports than in 2009.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  FDA Seafood Import Refusals up 25% This Year, Suggesting Increased Level of Detention and Inspection.  John Sackton.  December 6, 2010.


United States

Washington DC—Money for Aquaculture


The Fisheries Finance Program (FFP), part of the National Marine Fisheries Services, has set forth revised procedures, eligibility criteria, loan terms and other requirements related to FFP lending to the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries.


FFP assistance includes loans for aquaculture facilities!


Source: Aquacontacts Mail Group News (USDA).  From: Maxwell Mayeaux (  FR Notice: Final Rule on The Magnuson-Stevens Act, The Fisheries Finance Program, and Aquaculture.  December 16, 2010.


Will Export $2 Billion Worth of Farmed Shrimp in 2010


In 2010, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the value of shrimp exports from Vietnam will amount to more than $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2009.


In the first 11 months of 2010, Vietnam exported 210,000 metric tons of shrimp, valued at more than $1.8 billion.


Exports to Japan, its largest market, reached 60,000 tons (up 21.7% over 2009) worth $550 million (up 29%).


The USA, Vietnam’s second largest market, took 42,441 tons (up 16%) worth $450 million (up 35%).


The European Union took 40,000 tons (up 8%) worth $290 million (up 17%).


The growth in export value was the result of high shrimp prices on world markets.  The current export price is $8,530 per ton compared to $5,017 per ton a year ago.


Source: World Fishing and AquacultureRecord exports for Vietnam shrimp.  December 28, 2010.


Lobster Feeding Practices Costly and Damaging to the Environment


The aim of this research was to assess the environmental and economic costs of feeding “trash fish” to caged lobsters in Binh Ba Bay, Vietnam.


The research was carried out at six sampling sites from May 2009 to June 2010.  Water and mud samples were collected bimonthly and transported to the laboratory of Environmental Management, Faculty of Aquaculture, NhaTrang University to determine the total suspended solids (TSS), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total nitrogen and phosphate concentration and the amount of organic matter in the mud under the cages.  Surface temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), depth and transparency were also measured.


The estimated feed conversion ratio (FCR) for caged lobsters (Panulirus ornatus and P. homarus) fed trash fish was 26 to 1.  Most of the solid wastes (shells) were the remains of the mollusks and crustaceans fed to the lobsters.  To produce one kilogram of P. ornatus or P. homarus a discharge of around 15 kilograms of solid waste occurs.  Also, in areas with high concentrations of lobster farms, other wastes like plastic, broken bricks and farming equipment get tossed into the water and create their own layer on the seabed.  In contrast, at a testing site where pelleted feeds were used, the seabed was only mud and the current easily washed it away.


The environmental issues were not limited to solid wastes.  Dissolved nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus also contribute to the problem.  Researchers say the waste nitrogen from lobsters fed trash fish amounts to 402 grams for each kilogram of lobster produced, comparable to that calculated for lobster cage cultured in Xuan Tu Village, Van Ninh District, where there has been an apparent overloading of nitrogen since 2003.  It is a big issue for lobster farmers there.  The number of lobster cages in Van Ninh has increased to 16,080 and total nitrogen discharge was estimated at 223 tons and total phosphorus discharge at 3.4 tons.


More than 100 species of marine life, mostly small mollusks, crustaceans and fish, are used as lobster feeds or in lobster feeds.  The total amount of trash fish used for aquaculture in Vietnam was estimated at around 176,420 to 363,440 metric tons.  Therefore, finding alternative sources of protein, lipid and carbohydrates from products of plant origin to replace trash fish is needed from a biodiversity conservation point of view.


In 2000, the average price of “trash fish” for lobster feed was around $0.26 a kilogram.  Prices have increased rapidly since then.  The composition of “trash fish” is typically 2% squid, 16% lizardfish, 20.18% crabs and 30% mussels.  Prices for all of them have gone up, some by as much as 400%.


By using pelleted feeds, lobster farmers could save money on their feed costs and end the pollution under the cages.


Source: Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific WebpageGeneral: Relative Efficacies of Lobsters Cultured Using Pellet Feeds and “Trash” Fish at Binh Ba Bay, Vietnam.  Hung, L.V. (, Faculty of Aquaculture, Nha Trang University, Vietnam), Khuong, D.V., Phuoc, T.V. and Thao, M.D.  December 21, 2010.

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