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Friday, January 21, 2011

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Country Reports



Grow Marine Worms in Your Wastewater Ponds


Marine worms (polychaetes) are one of the preferred feeds at shrimp broodstock facilities and shrimp maturation facilities.  They can be farmed on the effluent from shrimp ponds.


In a discussion on the Shrimp List about how many polychaetes could be farmed per hectare, Adam Body ( said: We farm barramundi (a fish) in ponds over an 18-month growout cycle and have measured the polychaete biomass in the pond bottoms at around 12 metric tons per hectare!


Here’s what Body’s website said about the worms:


We operate our barra ponds to allow the development of all sorts of life, including small fish, shrimp and most importantly marine worms.  All these animals help recycle wastes from the fish, and they help keep the pond healthy and the water quality high.  Once the small fish and shrimp reach about an inch, they are eaten by the barra.


The worms are the most valuable of the natural recycling resources on the farm.  We are working closely with the Northern Territory Museum, Charles Darwin University and Northern Territory Fisheries to find out how these creatures manage to recycle the pond waste in such an amazing way.


After stocking some juvenile worms in the ponds, it takes about five months for them to begin reproducing.  Since the barra crop cycle is about 18 months, the worms have plenty of time to proliferate.  The highest biomass of worms we have measured in our ponds is about 1.2 kilogram per square meter, or 12 metric tons per hectare.


The adult worms burrow 300 to 400 centimeters into the pond bottom, and once they reach a certain population level in the pond, they begin to have a major impact on the pond ecology.  Our observations suggest that at around 0.5 kilograms per square meter the worms really start cleaning up the pond.  The result: all the sludge from the pond bottom is cleaned up, so that when the crop is finally harvested, and the pond drained, there is simply no sludge in the pond.  How do the worms perform this miracle?  We’ll keep you posted.


Information: Adam Body (


Source: Flicking  Environmental Sustainability.  Website Visit on January 11, 2011.


WAS Meeting


Dr. Giuseppe Scordella, from the HYDRA COOP-Institute of Cooperative Research in Italy, posted the following item to the Shrimp List, a mailing list for shrimp farmers.



The 2011 World Aquaculture Society conference is
going to be held in Natal, Brazil, on June 6-10, 2011. With Brett Koonse from USA FDA, I'm 
co-chairing of a session on Aquaculture and Human Health/Food Safety and Security. We are accepting abstracts (information below) on the following topics:



• The prudent use of antibiotics
• Best management practices
• Resistance to antibiotics
• Regulations and certification
• Feeds and food safety
• Private industry
schemes that minimize food safety risks
• On-farm processing controls • Training aquaculture farmers
about food safety
• Microbiological contamination at farms
• Trade
disruptions caused by aquaculture products


Dr. Scordella says, "I want to personally invite you
to consider submitting an abstract for this session. You can go to to submit
your abstract. 

 If you have questions or problems with your abstract submission, please contact me at


Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: 2011 World Aquaculture Society Conference.  January 13, 2011.


Greenpeace Founder Likes Shrimp Farming’s Future


In his new book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist, Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace and current chair and chief scientist at Greenspirit Strategies, Ltd., in Vancouver, says some amazing things about his involvement with Greenpeace—and about the future of shrimp farming!


Moore says:


 “You could call me a Greenpeace dropout, but that is not an entirely accurate description of how or why I left the organization 15 years after I helped create it.  I’d like to think Greenpeace left me, rather than the other way around, but that, too, is not entirely correct.”


“The truth is Greenpeace and I had divergent evolutions.  I became a sensible environmentalist; Greenpeace became increasingly senseless as it adopted an agenda that is anti-science, anti-business and downright anti-human.  This is the story of our transformations.”


In a long list of “I Believes”, Moore said: “Aquaculture, including salmon and shrimp farming, will be one of our most important future sources of healthy food.  It will also take pressure off depleted wild fish stocks and will employ millions of people productively.”


Information: Beatty Street Publishing, Inc.  Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist.  Patrick Moore.  $34.95.  2010.


Source: The Vancouver Sun.  Confessions of a Greenpeace Founder/New Book Describes Environmental Group’s Descent into Extremism, Author’s Conversion to Reason.  An excerpt from the book submitted to the Vancouver Sun by author Patrick Moore.  January 7, 2011.


Andhra Pradesh—Illegal Farming of Penaeus vannamei


According to the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), a government trade promotion body, India’s introduction of Penaeus vannamei in 2010 has led to widespread illegal vannamei farming and posed the threat of introducing new shrimp diseases to shrimp farms in the state of Andhra Pradesh on India’s east coast.


Leena Nair, a chairperson at MPEDA, said the 1,200 hectares that were approved for vannamei farming were expected to yield 20,000 metric tons, but already more than 30,000 metric tons of vannamei have been exported, hinting at the extent of the illegal farming.  Nair said farmers were illegally breeding vannamei and distributing them across Andhra Pradesh.


Since sea-caught shrimp are not tested for antibiotics, Nair said, “Exporters were passing them [the vannamei] off as sea-caught shrimp.”


The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture in Chennai, a branch of MPEDA, is the only agency authorized to import breed and distribute pathogen-free vannamei broodstock.  The Coastal Aquaculture Authority, or CAA, inspects hatcheries and farms for biosecurity measures and effluent treatment systems before recommending them for vannamei.


Vannamei farming is not allowed if neighboring farms are growing native shrimp species.  In case of a disease outbreak on a vannamei farm, a seine harvest is permitted, and then the water must be chlorinated and de-chlorinated before release, using guidelines established by CAA.


Vannamei is popular because of its high yield and short growout period.  The yield per hectare is up to three times that of the giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).  The growout period is also shorter for vannamei, 60-90 days, compared to 90-120 days for monodon.  Overall, it costs about half as much to produce a kilogram of vannamei as it does to produce a kilo of monodon.


Source: Fish Farming International.  Editor, Rachel Mutter (  Shrimp Illegal White Shrimp Growing Widespread in India.  Page 19.  January 2011 Issue.


Floods on Sulawesi


On January 13, 2011, flash floods in the Pangkep, Barru and Maros districts of South Sulawesi Province, located on the southwestern peninsula of Sulawesi Island, submerged hundreds of hectares of shrimp and milk fish ponds, causing local farmers to suffer material losses worth hundreds of millions of rupiah [one hundred million rupiah equals approximately $11,000].


Source:  Floods Inundate Rice Fields in South Sulawesi.  January 13, 2011.


400,000 Tons, 180,000 Hectares, 300,000 Jobs, Millions in Exports


Aminollah Taqavi Motlaq, the head of Iran’s Fisheries Organization (IFO) said Iran’s shrimp production should reach 6,000 metric tons by the end of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2011), compared to 5,000 tons in the previous year.  He cited higher shrimp prices, better management of the shrimp whitespot virus and financial aid from the government as reasons for the rebound in production.


Arsalan Qasemi, Managing Director of Iran Seafood Farm and Exports Cooperatives, pointing to Iran’s 2,000-kilometer southern coastline, said Iran had the capacity to produce 400,000 tons of shrimp annually.


Speculation about the removal of export incentives for farmed shrimp, however, has caused worries among shrimp farmers and exporters.  Ali Akbar Khodaei, secretary of the Iran Shrimp Producers Association, warned that if the incentives were removed, the shrimp industry would be in danger of total destruction.


The shrimp farming industry needs government support.  Khodaei said about 180,000 hectares have been identified for shrimp farming in four provinces.  Once the banking system seriously supports the shrimp industry by supplying the required capital, the business could generate close to 300,000 jobs on the southern coasts and earn millions in foreign currency for the country.


Since shrimp farmers have failed to pay back their government loans over the past couple of years, the banking system has lost faith in shrimp farming, and no capital is available for expanding the industry.  Aminollah Taqavi Motlaq said, “IFO plans to promote the shrimp industry, but due to reluctance of domestic banks, it has put on agenda drawing foreign investment in this respect.”


Source:  Shrimp Production Will Increase.  January 11, 2011.

United States

California—John Filose, “Country of Origin Is Emerging as a Brand”


John Filose, a seafood business consultant, has over 30 years experience as an executive with four multi-national companies and as an independent businessman.  Here are some excerpts from a paper he prepared for the Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010 (Phuket, Thailand, September 25, 2010).


Small and medium sized farms in common geographical areas should join forces to increase their bargaining leverage with processors.  Even a loosely knit organization will gain some power, especially if it is dealing with a professionally run packing plant.  Cash flow is king for farmers.  They like working with plants that pay on delivery.  Farmers should not speculate on future market movements.  They should harvest, ship to the packing plant, get paid in full, and then plan for the next crop.


To export to the USA, the packing plant must have FDA approval and an up-to-date HACCP plan on file.  The packing plant should either do its own exporting or have access to an established exporting company.  Only the larger, vertically integrated farms should attempt to export their production to the USA.  Shipping seafood to the USA, either frozen or fresh, is a complicated undertaking.  It is best left to the larger companies that have the organization required to maneuver through USA import regulations and the financial resources necessary to support product in transit.


Farmers should join and support their country’s trade and export organizations.  For the last few years, all seafood sold at USA supermarkets has specified the “country of origin”.  This applies to both packaged seafood products and seafood sold “loose” on ice, where tags identify the country of origin.  At restaurants, waiters are now informing customers about the origin of their seafood entrées and appetizers.  USA consumers are becoming used to receiving this information.  Country of origin is emerging as a “brand”!  As we move forward, country of origin will increase in importance in the minds of USA consumers.  A seafood-producing country’s brand must assure the USA consumer that he/she is purchasing an item that is high quality and safe to eat.  If the country’s brand image is damaged, it will quickly lose access to the USA market.


Farmers must raise quality seafood, and their trade associations must communicate the quality message to the USA marketplace.  The message must focus on quality and safety: the two necessary requirements for all seafood products sold in the USA.


Shrimp exporters and producers should closely follow the August 2010 announcement by the USA Department of Commerce.  It is proposing 14 changes to the dumping rules for “non-market economies”, meaning China and Vietnam.  Many of them could make it more expensive to export shrimp to the USA market.  For example, a requirement to post cash deposits, rather than bonds, to cover potential duty amounts would be a very expensive change.


Information: John Filose, Filose & Associates, 1921 Wandering Road, Encinitas, California 92024, USA (phone 1-760-815-6434, email


Source: Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010.  Expert Panel: Facilitating Market Access for Producers: Addressing Market Access Requirements, Evolving Consumer Needs, and Trends in Product Development and Distribution.  John Filose.  Phuket, Thailand, September 25, 2010.

United States

Maine—Seafood Business Reports on National Shrimp Sales Per Store


According to the Perishables Group of Chicago, an independent consulting firm focused on creating innovation and value for clients in the fresh food industry, shrimp sales represented 27.3 percent of seafood department sales at USA grocery stores during the 52 weeks ending on September 25, 2010.  Weekly sales included both raw (58%) and cooked shrimp (42%).  Weekly sales averaged $1,705 per store, about the same as 2009.


Source: SeaFood Business.  Editor-in-Chief, Fiona Robinson (  Retail Report.  Promo, Non-promo Shrimp Prices Fall.  Volume 30, Number 1, Page 12, January 2011.

United States

Texas—Dr. Addison Lawrence’s Shrimp Farming Patent


In July 2010, Royal Caridea, LLC, announced that it had purchased the worldwide rights to shrimp farming technology developed by Dr. Addison Lawrence at Texas A&M University.  Called “Super-Intensive Raceway Shrimp Farming Technology”, it is described in a United States Patent Application Publication as a System and Method for Super-Intensive Shrimp Production.


The 24-page patent (mostly charts and diagrams) focuses on the design of the stacked tanks used in the system, but also includes a discussion on raising shrimp in shallow tanks and information on the relationship between feeding rates and stocking densities.  Here are some excerpts from the patent:


“The disclosure relates to a process of shrimp aquaculture by providing a set of at least two raceways of increasing average depth...wherein the sloped bottom of each raceway has a slope between 0.05% and 20%.  ...The first raceway may be stocked with postlarval shrimp, which are then grown to a predetermined size.  The shrimp may then be transferred to a second raceway having a greater average depth until the shrimp reach a second predetermined size.  The shrimp may then be harvested or transferred to still further raceways with increasing average depths and grown to increasing sizes before transfer.  The shrimp may finally be harvested.  The shrimp may also be partially harvested between raceways.”


“Using the systems and methods described herein, shrimp may be produced in an amount of 7 to 70 kg/m3/crop.  Up to 18 crops per year may be grown with some systems.  Survival rates (percent of shrimp initially stocked that are later harvested) may be between 70% and 98%.  Growth rates may be between 1.3 and 3.0 grams a week.  Feed conversion ratios may be as low as 1.0 to 1.6.  Shrimp may grow as large at 18 to 35 grams, depending on the time of harvest.  Each of these results may be achieved using an average water depth for all raceways of 30 centimeters or less, more particularly, 20 cm or less.”


Inventor: Addison Lawrence, Baker Botts, L.L.P., 2001 Ross Avenue, Suite 600 Dallas, Texas 75201, USA.


Information: Dr. Addison Lawrence, Mariculture Research Laboratory, 1300 Port Street, Port Aransas, Texas 78373, USA (phone 1-361-749-4625, extension 223, fax 1-361-749-5756, email


Source: United States Patent Application Publication.  System and Method for Super-Intensive Shrimp Production.  Dr. Addison Lawrence.  Application Number 12/775,611.  Publication Number US 2010/0294202 A1.  Filing Date May 7, 2010.

United States

Utah—Now Might Be a Good Time to Stock Up on Brine Shrimp Eggs


Worldwide demand for Artemia cysts (brine shrimp eggs) continues to rise.  Several years of strong harvests and good inventories have helped Artemia suppliers deliver just enough eggs to meet market demand during the past few years.  With cyst inventories exhausted and a growing global demand anticipated in 2011, a shortfall in supply may be near.


Source: The Global Aquaculture Advocate (The Global Magazine for Farmed Seafood).  Editor, Darryl Jory (  Production/Aquaculture’s Artemia Addiction/Commercial Alternatives Offer Benefits over Wild Artemia.  Chris Stock (, Zeigler Bros., Inc., P.O. Box 95, Gardners, Pennsylvania 17324, USA) and Neil Gervais.  Volume 14, Issue-1, Page 44, January/February 2011.

United States

Washington DC—Obama Signs Food Safety Bill, Could Trigger Budget Battle


On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed the biggest overhaul of food safety regulations in more than seven decades, but the estimated $1.4 billion price tag, supported by the Democrats, could trigger a budget battle with Republicans, who now hold a majority in the House of Representatives.


Representative Jack Kingston, a Republican from Georgia and incoming chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said he may seek to trim back the package during budget debates.


The bill gives the FDA more power to police domestic and international producers.  It authorizes more inspections, requires most food companies to develop hazard prevention plans and gives the agency the ability to force recalls of tainted products.


FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she would work closely with Congress to put the new law in place.


Source: USAToday/TheOval/Tracking the Obama Presidency.  Obama Signs Food Safety Bill, Could Trigger Budget Battle.  Posted by David Jackson.  January 4, 2011.


Minh Phu Seafood, an Integrated Shrimp Farm


When it completes a new processing plant in April 2011, Minh Phu Seafood, Vietnam’s largest shrimp exporter, will be set to nearly double its production.  Based in the Mekong Delta, Minh Phu is an integrated shrimp farmer and exporter, controlling the entire process from postlarvae production through growout, processing and sales.  Although small compared to some of the giant shrimp farming companies in Thailand and Indonesia, Minh Phu hopes to be producing at the 70,000-metric-tons-a-year level by mid-2011.  That’s more than triple the 20,000 metric tons it was producing at the beginning of 2010.


Le Van Quang, chief executive officer, said Minh Phu expects revenues to rise by 50 percent in 2011, to $240 million, compared to $158 million in 2008.  Once completed, the new $80.2 million processing plant will cover 56.4 hectares in Hau Giang Province.  It will have the capacity to produce 40,000 metric tons a year—bringing the company’s total production capacity up to 70,000 metric tons.  In March, Minh Phu was the country’s first shrimp producer to obtain Global Gap certification.


Source: Fish Farming International.  Editor, Rachel Mutter (  Minh Phu Looks to Double Shrimp Production with New Plant.  Page 18.  January 2011 Issue.


Mekong Delta Processors Can’t Get Enough Shrimp


Prices for giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) in the Mekong Delta are the highest they’ve been in the last ten years.


According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), 25 shrimp processing plants in Soc Trang Province are operating below 50 percent of capacity, and the shortage could last through March 2011.  Mr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, General Director of Utxi Aquatic Products Processing Corporation in Soc Trang Province, said its plants could process 100 metric tons of shrimp a day, but now they’re only processing two to three tons a day.


Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces report similar shortages.


VASEP said many factors led to the shortage, but the biggest one was that there were fewer hectares devoted to shrimp farming in 2010 than there were in 2009.  Overall, the number of hectares devoted to shrimp farming dropped about 5.2 percent.  Processors, on the other hand, continued to built more plants.  Dr. Nguyen Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of Vietnam Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning said, in 2008 the Mekong Delta had 189 seafood processing plants with the combined capacity of 1.2 million metric tons a year, up almost 300 percent since 2003.


Source:  VASEPNews/Shrimp Processing Plants “Hunger” for Raw Material.  January 12, 2011.

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