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Free Reports on Shrimp Farming

These reports are in a constant state of revision. If you would like to correct or add information to one of them, contact Bob Rosenberry at


SHRIMP: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold, an—important—new book (2010) for the shrimp industry.   Important? Yes!  This book is likely to be read by a wider audience than any book ever written about shrimp. Because so many new people will be introduced to shrimp through this book, it could possibly alter the public perception of “shrimp” in the United States. That makes it very important for all of us in the shrimp farming industry—worldwide.

Shrimponomics: Why do we eat so much shrimp? Who better to ask that question than Dr. Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics, the best-selling book (3 million copies and counting) that looks at unusual data sets to explain complex human behavior.

About Shrimp Farming: This long, searchable article contains background information on shrimp farming. It describes the production cycle (hatchery, nursery, growout) and then discusses equipment, supplies, farming strategies, factors affecting production, and some of the costs associated with shrimp farming. Maps. Diagrams.

The Shrimp List: The Shrimp List is an online mailing list for the shrimp farming industry. If you have questions about shrimp farming, this is the place to get them answered!  Excerpts, beginning with a little shrimp joke.

Shrimp Bites Hollywood: In the summer of 1994, the movie "Forrest Gump" created a big stir in the shrimp industry because of its shots of shrimp cooking and shrimp fishing. Did you know that good old Forrest was a shrimp farmer in the book? Read on. He makes a fortune! Pictures.

Book Review: The First Shrimp Farm: Marifarms Started It All!  In Memoirs of a Shrimp Farmer, a 200-page book, John Cheshire, the manager of Marifarms from beginning to end, tells the farm's story in short, year-by-year chapters.

Paul Mulvihill, the first prawn farmer in the continental United States.  In the mid-1970s, he and Weyerhaeuser Company spent a couple of million trying to get freshwater prawn farming started.

An Oral History of Shrimp Farming in the Western Hemisphere—Told By:

Harry Cook

Dennis Zensen

Henry Clifford

Bill More

Ron Staha

Larry Drazba

Jim Heerin

Durwood Dugger

Roberto Chamorro

David Drennan

Adriano Guerra

Bolivar Martinez

Yosuke Hirono

Russ Allen

Linda Thornton


Steven Serfling, 1944 to 2007, a Tribute: One night in September 1976, Steve and his business partner at the time, Dominick Mendola, scribbled down some aquaculture concepts that eventually led to trials with “bio-floc” shrimp farming.  In the late 1970s, they built a zero-exchange, intensive, bio-floc, shrimp farming system capable of producing roughly 20,000 pounds of shrimp per acre per year, but no one would believe their numbers, and they could not get investors to buy into the concept.

Frank Hoff, 1938 to 2010, an Obituary:  Harvey Persyn, one of the founding fathers of shrimp farming in the Western Hemisphere, who knew Frank throughout his career, prepared this obituary that documents Frank’s aquaculture accomplishments. During the early years of shrimp farming in the Western Hemisphere, Frank was one of the most reliable suppliers of shrimp hatchery equipment and supplies.

El Nino and Shrimp Farming: Reports from Shrimp Farmers. El Nino, the Book. El Nino, the Movie. The Monster El Nino of 1997-1998. Maps. Diagrams. Searchable.

The 2004 Tsunami and Shrimp Farming: On December 26, 2004, an earthquake off the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a tsunami that destroyed shrimp farms in southeast India, northwest Indonesia and shrimp hatcheries in southwest Thailand. This report tells that story.

Mitch's Reign: In late October 1998, Hurricane Mitch flooded 50% of the shrimp ponds in Nicaragua and Honduras.   When Mitch hit the north coast of Honduras, it was a category five monster with winds of 180 miles an hour. Six Maps.

Anatomy of a Shrimp: Glossary and Illustrations. Searchable.

Farmed Species: Identification Guides. Scientific Classification. Vannamei gets its first name back. Bait. Searchable.

Probiotics and Shrimp Farming: A long discussion from the Shrimp List. Names, titles, affiliations, addresses and contact information on the 28 participants. Searchable.

Meet the Flockers: Will "bio-flocs" make shrimp farming the most environmentally friendly agriculture industry in the world? Names, titles, affiliations, addresses and contact information on the 26 participants. Searchable.

How Long Can Water Be Used in a Biofloc System?: This is a long technical discussion from the Shrimp List. Searchable.

pH Control in Biofloc Ponds: This long discussion (37 messages) took place on the Shrimp List, a mailing list for the shrimp farming industry. The discussion got technical and sometimes strayed to other topics. Here I concentrated on the responses that focused on pH.

Later, a brief discussion on managing phosphates in intensive ponds was added to the end of the pH report; and, after that, some information was added on "dephosphorylation". No, it doesn't mean, happy about getting rid of phosphorus.

Shrimp Behavior 101: It's midnight. Do you know where your shrimp are? Rod McNeil knows because he's underwater with lights watching them.

Diving Shrimp Ponds with Alec Forbes (1940–2007): Alec always chatters about diving his shrimp ponds, so I emailed him a list of questions about diving shrimp ponds.  Read his resume at the end of the interview.  Alec died in August 2007.

Dialouges with Shrimp Farmers: Shrimp News Interviews the World Wildlife Fund's Jason Clay and Jose Villalon.  They are developing environmental standards for shrimp farms worldwide.

SHUNDERBAN: Beware, this a story about a successful Bengal tiger attack on a shrimp seedstock fisherman. Also see, the postscripts at the end of this story, and after them the pictures of the female seedstock collectors of West Bengal, India.

FREE—Peneaus monodon Hatchery Manual: Improving Penaeus monodon Hatchery Practices, a manual based on the shrimp farming experience in India, reviews the status of broodstock facilities and hatcheries in India and then discusses ways of improving postlarvae quality.  Focusing on the giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), it also provides technical protocols and guidelines for improving hatchery biosecurity.

Macrobrachium: The Culture of Freshwater Prawns: This new book is compilation of the global information on the farming of freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium with special emphasis on India.  It has 169 pages, 41 black and white and 60 color pictures, numerous tables and diagrams and over 200 references (most of them since the year 2000).

The True Cost of Shrimp: On April 23, 2008, the Solidarity Center (“American Center For International Labor Solidarity”) released a 40-page report titled The True Cost of Shrimp.  A strong indictment of the labor practices at shrimp processing plants in Bangladesh and Thailand, it also includes comments on the Global Aquaculture Alliance and the Aquaculture Certification Council.  Those comments are followed with responses to the report from the media and the shrimp industry.

Shrimp News Gives Canada’s University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism a C Minus for Its Reporting on Shrimp Farming in Thailand.

Pescanova—The Largest Shrimp Farming Company in the Western Hemisphere: Pescanova's Manuel Fernandez de Sousa Has Assembled the Largest Shrimp Farming Venture in the Western Hemisphere.  Larry Drazba Pulled It Together and Tells the Story.

The Queen of Shrimp Pornography:  Isabella Rossellini.  Video.

The Rising Tide: The proceedings of the World Aquaculture Society’s Special Session on Sustainable Shrimp Farming in Veracruz, Mexico (September 2009).  A quick summary.  The table of contents with authors. Where can I purchase it?

The Rise and Fall of a Shrimp Farm in South Africa: Laurence Evans has compiled a remarkable amount of data on the shrimp farm he managed in South Africa and published it as a 77-page report that chronicles his battle to make the farm work.  That battle came to an end in 2004.  His biggest enemies were a short season (29° S Lat), foreign shrimp imports and, in the end, the crushing drop in shrimp prices from 2000 to 2004. For more information on his report and information on how to download a free PDF of it, click on the link above. Pictures. Map.

Freshwater Prawns: Biology and Culture: This new (2010) 544-page book contains everything that’s been learned about prawn farming so far—and it’s written by the people that participated in the development of the industry. Picture. Table of Contents.

Free Copy of the Proceedings of a Conference on Spiny Lobster Farming: Published by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Spiny Lobster Aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific Region is the 162-page proceedings of an international conference held in Nha Trang, Vietnam, on December 9–10, 2008. In addition to papers contributed by leading lobster researchers in the Asia–Pacific region, the proceedings contains 16 papers that report the results of research carried out in a four-year ACIAR lobster aquaculture project involving six agencies from Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Pictures. Summary. Table of Contents.


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