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United States

Some Historical Notes


In Shrimp Capture and Culture Fisheries of the United States (Halsted Press, New York, USA, 1993) authors Edwin Iversen, Donald Allen and James Higman, present some good information on the history of shrimp farming in the United States:


Georgia: “The few published notes on shrimp farming ventures in Georgia suggest that interest in this industry was low.  In 1970, Dr. H. Kurata, from Tokai Regional Fisheries Laboratory, Yokosuka, Japan, came to the Georgia Marine Institute, Sapelo Island, and attempted to spawn white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus) and brown shrimp (P. aztecus).  No suitable mature females were found, but he did locate gravid female seabob shrimp (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri) which he spawned, and he raised the hatchlings to the postlarval stage in 3 weeks.”


Florida: “A project begun in 1967 involved research on the farming potential of the local pink shrimp (P. duorarum) at the Turkey Point electric generation plant on Biscayne Bay, near Homestead, Florida.  This site was chosen because use of the warm effluent was considered a benefit for multiple crops per year.  The project was funded by Armour Company, United Brands and Florida Sea Grant.  Florida Power and Light Company provided land and constructed a hatchery building and experimental ponds.  Studies were funded through the University of Miami.  Artificial shrimp maturation was not part of the study.  Mature females were obtained from shrimp vessels on the Tortugas grounds, taken to the hatchery and spawned....  Many aspects of shrimp farming were developed and problems identified.  The local pink shrimp grew very slowly.  Economic studies suggested that owing to the high production costs encountered at that time (primarily related to labor, land and environmental requirements), shrimp farming did not appear to be a profitable commercial venture.  During 1970, two exotic species, the western white shrimp (P. occidentalis) and the yellowleg shrimp (P. californiensis) were spawned in the Turkey Point hatchery, but larval survival was very low.”


Alabama: “In Alabama, during the later half of the 1970s, monoculture and polyculture pond studies were made using the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) and three species of local shrimp, brown (P. aztecus), white (P. setiferus) and pink (P. duorarum).  The Florida pompano was desirable species to use for these polyculture farming trials because of its high value and the abundance of juveniles in Alabama waters for stocking.  The polyculture of indigenous shrimp and pompano demonstrated both technical and economical potential.  To obtain greater yields, two species of nonindigenous penaeid shrimp, the pacific white shrimp (P. vannamei) and the blue shrimp (P. stylirostris) in monoculture and the blue shrimp and pompano in polyculture, showed positive economic returns.  Alabama’s short coast on the Gulf of Mexico limits shrimp farming ventures.”


Louisiana: “Researchers found that local white shrimp (P. setiferus) in growout impoundment systems in Louisiana salt marshes in the 1970s grew faster and had survived better than brown shrimp (P. aztecus).  Production was over 830 pounds per acre (heads-on), with a food conversion ration as low as only 1.1 pound of feed to produce 1.0 pound of shrimp.  Ponds stocked with young shrimp that entered the ponds with high tides contained numerous predators; blue crabs and 41 species of fish preyed on the shrimp.  Even insect larvae were found to be serious predators on postlarvae.  Attempts at predator removal by poisoning and trapping increased shrimp production fourfold.  The heavy predation on shrimp by many different organisms which were difficult to exclude was called a major unresolved problem inherent in extensive shrimp culture.”


In Aquaculture in the United States: A Historical Survey (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1996), author Robert Stickney talks about his first contacts with shrimp farming in the United States: “Florida State University scientists were conducting research on the rearing of shrimp when I arrived on campus in 1968.  Their research was on species indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico: white, pink and brown shrimp.  The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries laboratory in Galveston was also conducting research on shrimp and had managed to spawn brown shrimp and produce postlarvae by 1966."


Sources: 1. Shrimp Capture and Culture Fisheries of the United States.  Edwin Iversen, Donald Allen and James Higman.  Halsted Press, New your, USA, 1983.  2. Aqueculture in the United States: A Histroical Survey. Robert Stickney.  Johh Wiler & Sons, Inc., New York, USA. 1996.

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