The Status of Shrimp Farming
In June 1990, at a FAO shrimp farming conference in Malaysia, I gave a presentation titled “Shrimp Farming in the Western Hemisphere”. It contained country-by-country reports on the number of farms, the number of hatcheries, the number of hectares in production and total production. Topics of concern to shrimp farmers in the Western Hemisphere received special attention and included feeds, hatcheries, aeration, disease and marketing.
At the conference, Michael New, the famed advocate of freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) farming, introduced me with the following comments: Our next speaker is Bob Rosenberry (my secretary typed Bob Rosenbergii in the first draft of my notes which shows how often I write about freshwater prawns!). To me Bob Rosenberry is synonymous with Aquaculture Digest [the name of my business from September 1976 until March 1994, when it was changed to Shrimp News International], which has been the much appreciated gossip column of aquaculture for many, many years. It’s a good value for the money. Bob’s paper is entitled “Shrimp Farming in the Western Hemisphere”. While his figures show that the Eastern Hemisphere is dominant in production terms, the producing countries of the Western Hemisphere, which are mostly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, are much closer to the big USA shrimp market than farms in Asia.
In 1989, the world’s shrimp farmers harvested an astounding 560,000 metric tons of live shrimp from 1.1 million hectares of ponds. Shrimp farmers now produce 25 percent of the shrimp placed on world markets—fishermen 75 percent—out of a total market of 2.4 million metric tons. World shrimp farming has grown into a multi-billion dollar giant, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and much-needed foreign exchange in many third world countries.
If production continues to expand at the current rate, farm-raised shrimp will capture 50 percent of the market by the year 2000, when farmers could be producing 1.5 million tons in a three-million-ton market. China, a world leader in farmed shrimp with current production between 100,000 and 200,000 tons a year, hopes to produce two million tons a year by the year 2000! That’s close to the size of today’s total shrimp market! Indonesia and Thailand have gigantic shrimp farming industries. In Ecuador, the leader in the Western Hemisphere, the shrimp farming industry employs two percent of the total labor force!
Production: Shrimp farmers in the Western Hemisphere account for 11 percent of world production, about 61,000 metric tons of heads-on product, from approximately 90,000 hectares of ponds. Of this total, Ecuador produces 65 percent, but many other Western Hemisphere countries participate in the industry. Mexico recently passed legislation, which permits—for the first time—private sector shrimp farming and foreign investment. Peru, Colombia, Honduras, Panama and Guatemala have small shrimp farming industries. Scattered farms exist in Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and the Caribbean. Brazil hopes to capitalize on its vast potential. Latin America abounds with good sites for shrimp farms.
The United States has a small shrimp farming industry, a total of 25 farms in Puerto Rico, Texas, Hawaii and South Carolina, and it plays a dominant role in Western Hemisphere shrimp farming, supplying capital, feeds, equipment, research technology and know-how to farms throughout Latin America. The United States is also the major market for farm-raised shrimp in the Western Hemisphere.
Growout: Once a shrimp farm is stocked with juvenile shrimp, it takes from three to six months to produce a crop of market-size shrimp. Most production in the Western Hemisphere is based on one or two crops per year, while farms close to the equator can produce three crops per year. Temperature has a lot to do with it. Shrimp like it hot. Combine warm temperatures with good sites, low labor costs, government support, know-how and capital, and you've discovered the formula for success. In the Western Hemisphere, shrimp farms come in all shapes and sizes, but generally they're characterized as extensive, semi-intensive or intensive. Extensive means low-density, semi-intensive means medium-density and intensive means high-density. As densities increase, the farms get smaller, the technology gets more sophisticated, capital costs go up and production per unit of space increases dramatically.
Extensive shrimp farming is conducted in low-lying impoundments along bays and tidal rivers. Impoundments range in size from a few hectares up to several hundred hectares. When local waters are known to have high densities of young shrimp, the farmer opens the gates, impounds the wild shrimp and then grows them to maturity. Fishermen also capture wild juveniles and sell them to extensive farmers for stocking. Overall, however, stocking densities are quite low. Tidal action changes the water, and the shrimp feed on naturally occurring organisms, which may be encouraged with organic or commercial fertilizer. Costs are low and so are yields. Cast-net harvests produce 50 to 500 kilograms (heads-on) per hectare per year. Production costs range from $1.00 to $3.00 per kilogram of live shrimp.
At the high technology end, intensive shrimp farming introduces small enclosures, high stocking densities, around-the-clock management, heavy feeding, waste removal and aeration. Aeration—the addition of air, or oxygen, to the water—permits much higher stocking densities. Frequently conducted in small ponds, it is also practiced in raceways and tanks, which may be covered or indoor. Sophisticated harvesting devices facilitate continual production. Yields of 5,000 to 10,000 kilograms (heads-on) per hectare per year are common. Production costs range from $5.00 to $7.00 per kilogram of live shrimp. Still experimental, super-intensive shrimp farming takes even greater control of the environment and can produce yields of 10,000 to 100,000 kilograms per hectare per year!
Although extensive and intensive farms exist throughout the Western Hemisphere, shrimp farmers concentrate on semi-intensive farming. Usually conducted above the high tide line, semi-intensive farming uses nursery ponds, carefully laid out growout ponds, feeding and diesel pumping to exchange water. Wild or hatchery-produced juveniles are stocked at high densities in the nursery ponds until large enough to be stocked at lower densities in growout ponds, which range in size from 1 to 100 hectares. The farmer harvests by draining the pond through a net. Yields range from 500 to 5,000 kilograms (heads-on) per hectare per year, but average only 700 kilograms per hectare per year. Production costs range from $3.00 to $5.00 per kilogram of live shrimp.
Farming Strategies: Although most shrimp farms built in the last few years have been semi-intensive and intensive, much of the production in the Western Hemisphere still comes from extensive farms. Many of the farms in Central America use extensive technology. Ecuador is making the transition from extensive to semi-intensive farming. The United States concentrates on intensive shrimp farming. High capital and operating costs make intensive shrimp farming a risky proposition. Semi-intensive farming represents the current state-of-the-art in the Western Hemisphere. Feed, labor, energy—along with the original investment—make up the major costs in semi-intensive shrimp farming.
Species: Penaeus vannamei, a white shrimp with good market acceptance around the world, accounts for 92 percent of the production of farm-raised shrimp in the Western Hemisphere. Wild stocks of P. vannamei support shrimp farming industries on the Pacific coast of every country from Mexico to Peru. P. vannamei can be stocked at small sizes, and it grows at a uniform rate, reaching a maximum length of 230 millimeters. It has a reputation as a "tough" animal during growout, and it has a low protein requirement, so feed costs are lower than those for P. monodon, the giant tiger shrimp that is grown in Southeast Asia. P. stylirostris, similar in appearance to P. vannamei, accounts for approximately 6 percent of production in the Western Hemisphere. Other species that are studied or farmed include: P. subtilis, P. setiferus, P. brasiliensis, P. duorarum, P. occidentalis, P. japonicus, P. schmitti, P. californiensis, P. chinensis and P. monodon.
Seedstock: Shrimp farmers in the Western Hemisphere rely on wild shrimp for the production of seedstock. They either capture wild juveniles, which are stocked directly into nursery or growout ponds, or they spawn egg-laden females at a hatchery. The hatchery approach, the more common of the two, requires raising young shrimp through several larval and postlarval stages. Hatcheries sell two products: nauplii (tiny, newly-hatched larvae) and postlarvae (juveniles which have passed through several larval stages). Nauplii are sold to specialists who grow them to the postlarvae stage or to farmers who stock them in nursery ponds at high densities and later transfer them to growout ponds at lower densities. Postlarvae are stocked in nursery ponds or directly into growout ponds.
Hatcheries: The Western Hemisphere supports approximately 175 shrimp hatcheries, 68 percent of them in Ecuador. In the 1970s and 1980s, most hatcheries constructed in the Western Hemisphere were large, multi-million dollar facilities that produced more than 100 million postlarvae per year. Recently, small and medium-scale hatcheries that produce from 5 to 20 million postlarvae per year have become popular. Their chief advantages are low construction, labor and operating costs and their ability to operate or close down, depending on the season and the supply of wild seed. They usually concentrate on just one phase of production, like nauplii or postlarvae production. They use low densities and untreated water. Diseases and water quality problems often knock them out of production, but they can quickly disinfect and restart operations.
Although the trend appears to be towards smaller hatcheries, big hatcheries still account for most of the production in the Western Hemisphere. Requiring tight management, high-paid technicians and scientists, big hatcheries work with high densities and clean water. They take advantage of the economies of scale and produce seedstock throughout the year. Big hatcheries have problems with disease and water quality, and it takes them a long time for them to recover from production failures. Also, when wild females and juveniles are readily available, big hatcheries have a difficult time competing with fishermen who supply wild postlarvae to farms.
Because of fluctuations in natural supplies of seedstock, there will always be a place for hatcheries—both big and small. Big hatcheries will become the dominant suppliers of seedstock, while small hatcheries will work the niches. They will also work together. Big hatcheries already supply small hatcheries with nauplii, which they raise to the postlarvae size and sell to farmers. The current mix of big and small hatcheries in the Western Hemisphere appears to be getting into balance with the demand for seedstock. In Ecuador, in 1989, the hatchery industry produced 5 billion postlarvae and saved the industry from what could have been a very bad year. In the spring of 1990, a period of wild seedstock shortages, many large hatcheries were selling nauplii and postlarvae.
Maturation Facilities: Maturation facilities are big hatcheries that maintain captive broodstock for the production of seedstock. They represent the future of the industry but, thus far, have only been marginally successful. Only a handful of maturation facilities survive in the Western Hemisphere. Viral and bacterial diseases, along with management and financial problems, limit their success. In addition, postlarvae from maturation seedstock are not as tough as those from wild seedstock. In Ecuador, farmers consider wild postlarvae the "Cadillac" of seedstock.
Aeration: Shrimp farmers in the Western Hemisphere use tidal flow and diesel pumps to circulate the water in their extensive and semi-intensive ponds. The exchange brings freshly oxygenated water—and flushes wastes out of the pond. To further increase oxygen levels, some semi-intensive farms and most intensive farms use paddlewheel or aspirating aerators, electro/mechanical devices that add oxygen to the water. Shrimp flourish in the oxygen rich currents created by the aerators. Paddlewheel aerators cost less and efficiently transfer oxygen to the water, but they have many moving parts and lots of down time. Aspirators cost more, but have fewer moving parts, and they create better currents in the pond. Producers of paddlewheel and aspirating aerators actively compete for the intensive shrimp farmer's business. Since the costs are similar, neither technology has established itself as better than the other. Blower-type aeration systems are used in hatcheries.
Disease: Disease represents the biggest obstacle to the future of shrimp farming in the Western Hemisphere. In the spring of 1990, Ecuador's $300 million a year industry tottered on collapse as a weather-related disease epidemic struck its ponds. Farms and hatcheries have few defenses against rampaging viruses and bacteria. Protozoa and fungi also cause problems. The aquatic environment presents many obstacles to the treatment of disease that are not found with the farming of terrestrial animals. Hatcheries, which maintain concentrated stocks of live feeds and developing larvae, are particularly susceptible to disease. What’s the farmer's best defense against disease? Clean water! Fortunately, the world's shrimp farming industries have grown so rapidly and become so large that they are now attracting the attention of large, land-based agriculture companies that have long histories of dealing with disease. As these companies begin to market their expertise and products to the shrimp farmer, disease will become more manageable and less of a threat.
Feeds: Everywhere in Latin America, shrimp farmers cry for high quality feeds. But because of trade restrictions, high costs (equipment, nutrients) and, in some cases, the failure to recognize the economic benefits of high-quality feeds, farmers may not have access to them. What are the benefits of high quality feeds? Better water stability, better feed conversion ratios, faster growth, less stress, less disease, lower mortalities, healthier animals—and improved water quality. Several companies in the United States market high-quality shrimp feeds.
Shrimp farming generally evolves from extensive farming, to semi-intensive farming, to intensive farming—each increasing the stocking density. As densities increase, the quality of feed becomes very important. Some extensive farms (low stocking densities) don't feed at all; the shrimp feed on the natural food web. Other extensive farms use small amounts of feed during a certain season or stage and when nutrient levels in the pond are low. In extensive ponds, feed serves directly as food for the shrimp and indirectly as fertilizer for the natural food web. The shrimp pick up many of their nutrients from the natural food web.
On semi-intensive farms, with many more shrimp scouring the bottom for feed—and for natural organisms—most of the feed is consumed by the shrimp, and, therefore, less is available to serve as a stimulant to the natural food web. The shrimp must get most of their nutrients from the feed. Hence, the quality of the feed is much more important in semi-intensive farming. On intensive farms, there's almost no natural food production. Shrimp depend on commercial feeds for all their nutrients. Therefore, intensive farms require the very best feeds.
The United States
The United States, the technology leader, and Ecuador, the largest producer, dominate shrimp farming in the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, this report begins with the United States and ends with Ecuador. In between, it visits every country in Central America and several countries in northern South America.
Since the 1950s, there have been sporadic attempts at shrimp farming in the United States. The first farms used extensive technologies with native species. Then, in the early 1960s, the United States Department of Commerce through the National Marine Fisheries Service embarked on shrimp research at laboratories in Florida and Texas. At its Galveston, Texas, laboratory, it developed hatchery technology which eventually came to be called the “Galveston Method”, which today is the basic technology used throughout the Western Hemisphere. That program came to an end in the early 1980s, but, by then, the Department of Commerce was funding shrimp farming research through the National Sea Grant College Program, primarily at Texas A&M University, but also at several other institutions. The National Sea Grant College Program continues to fund shrimp farming research at several major universities in the United States. It concentrates on basic research in genetics, biotechnology, physiology, endocrinology, disease, nutrition and reproduction.
One of the first milestones for the United States research community was learning to rear shrimp through its mysterious larval stages. The Galveston Laboratory of the National Marine Fisheries Service gets credit for developing a successful larval rearing system in the early 1960s. The Galveston Method involves the capture of gravid (egg laden) wild shrimp and spawning them at a hatchery. They spawn almost automatically, and the eggs hatch into nauplii. The challenge was to raise those little, non-feeding nauplii through the next two larval stages—where feeding is critical. Various types of algal feeds and culture systems were tested. Over time, the lab developed a dependable method for producing postlarval shrimp.
Also during this period, shrimp farming research and attempts at commercial culture were conducted in the state of Florida. These attempts did not lead to any lasting commercial ventures, but they did train many of the early hatchery biologists. Later much of the technology developed in Florida was transferred to Central America. Ralston Purina established a large farm and hatchery in Panama, and another farm that was not successful in Florida eventually became successful in Honduras.
About the same time, shrimp farming was also getting started in Ecuador and other parts of the world, so United States researchers were able to get P. vannamei, a species from South America, and compare it with native white shrimp. It was no contest. P. vannamei was a superior species for shrimp farming! In the late 1970s and early 1980s, researchers learned to mature P. vannamei and spawn them in captivity. The information remained proprietary for several years. Eventually, it was published. The method involves eyestalk ablation to induce maturation and the correct blend of feeds and environmental conditions.
In 1984/1985, South Carolina's Waddell Mariculture Center was constructed to provide research and development support for the aquaculture industry. The Center works with marine and brackish water species. At present, about half its effort is in shrimp research and development. It makes a major contribution to the development of shrimp farming in the United States. Some of the shrimp farms in South Carolina have shown a profit.
In 1984, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Consortium was formed to determine the feasibility of farming shrimp in the United States—and to reduce a shrimp trade deficit currently in excess of $1.4 billion a year. Funds are provided as direct federal administration appropriations, administered by the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS) of the United States Department of Agriculture. The management responsibility for the consortium resides with the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Mississippi. The program concentrates on the practical aspects of shrimp farming, such as growout systems, feeds, disease, broodstock maturation, hatchery technology, aeration and economics.
United States investors and consultants took the National Marine Fisheries Service and Sea Grant research and spread it throughout Central and South America. Most of the early hatcheries in Latin America adopted the Galveston Method and many used growout technologies developed by Sea Grant researchers at Texas A&M University. One of Honduras's first farms was based on technology developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, and so was the first large hatchery in Ecuador. Many of the early farms and hatcheries in Latin America also used United States capital for the development of their farms. Ralston Purina, a large USA feed company, built a farm and hatchery in Panama that became the model for much of the development in Latin America. Over the years, these pioneering farms and hatcheries trained thousands of people who, in turn, adapted those technologies to local conditions at other farms. Today, most Latin American countries lead the United States in production and growout technology, but still look to the United States for help with research, feeds, disease and hatchery technology. Also the United States supplies the shrimp farming industries in Latin America with feeds, equipment, expertise, capital and consulting services.
Today, the United States has 25 shrimp farms, 8 hatcheries, 400 hectares of ponds and an annual heads-on production of approximately 1,200 metric tons. Farms locate in Puerto Rico (a territory of the United States), Texas, Hawaii and South Carolina, where government provides institutional support, and sites provide an environment that is suitable for shrimp farming. In Hawaii and Puerto Rico, with their tropical climates, shrimp farming can be conducted throughout the year. In Texas and South Carolina, however, cooler climates limit shrimp farming to late spring, summer and early fall and to one, and occasionally two crops, per year. Because of high land, labor and construction costs, shrimp farms in the United States tend to be semi-intensive or intensive with annual heads-on production ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 kilograms per hectare per year. Although farmers and researchers experiment with several domestic and exotic species, P. vannamei accounts for almost all of the production.
Puerto Rico: In Puerto Rico, two shrimp farms have started operations recently: Del Encanto Enterprises, on the south coast, cultures P. vannamei; and, on the north coast, Eureka Marine Products cultures P. monodon. Four other P. vannamei projects are in the permit process: Northern Caribbean Shrimp Company on the north coast, and Caribbean Cultured Shrimp, Ponce Marine Farms and Camarones de Puerto Rico, all on the south coast. Ponce Marine Farms completed construction, stocked ponds and then ran into additional permit problems. Industry sources say the permit process in Puerto Rico is extremely lengthy and involves several agencies.
Texas: In the early 1980s the shrimp's life cycle was brought under control and, within a year, Laguna Madre Shrimp Farms built the first large shrimp hatchery in south Texas, near Brownsville. It currently supplies seedstock to farms in Texas and South Carolina.
With the availability of postlarvae, a number of shrimp farms started operations in the early 1980s. At first glance, the bays along the Texas coast appear to be ideal for shrimp farming, but that's not the case. Each has its own characteristics in terms of river inflow and salinity. Some tend to go abruptly fresh when it rains. Matagorda Bay, however, is a good bay for shrimp farming. There are already four shrimp farms on its shores. Other farms locate as far south as they can to take advantage of the longer growing season. Unfortunately, the Laguna Madre Bay System, the southernmost bay system in the state, has very high salinities.
Laguna Madre Shrimp Farms, with 200 hectares of semi-intensive ponds, was one of the first farms in Texas. Ocean Ventures near Port Lavaca was also an early entrant. It uses 0.8-hectare ponds, aeration and plastic baffles to improve the water circulation. At about the same time, another farm started operations in a natural impoundment on Galveston Bay. It purchased wild juveniles, stocked them in the impoundment and harvested them as adults. It did very well in terms of production, but the pond was never equipped to drain, making harvesting very difficult. It did not survive. The King Ranch also engaged in a project that did not make it. Its facility, located near Corpus Christi, was built in a very sandy area with seepage problems. The eight-hectare ponds never produced well. There were mysterious problems, probably related to the soils.
Other farms: Guffey Seafood Farms, located on Copano Bay, uses square, two-hectare ponds with a center drain. The Brownsville Navigational District Project in South Texas, almost on the Mexican border, has two 40-hectare impoundments. Port Lavaca Plantations, one of the farms on the Matagorda Bay, has three-hectare ponds and lots of drain pipes to pull off wastes. It uses paddlewheel aerators and gets the best production in the state. Harold Bowers just completed his farm on the Matagorda Bay. It's about 20 hectares at this point.
Finally, there are some farms in West Texas, several hundred kilometers inland, in an arid, desolate part of the state. They use saline groundwater in the Pecos River area. Genesis Aquaculture uses 0.4-hectare ponds. Charles McKaskle also uses 0.4-hectare ponds. Both are fairly small pilot-scale facilities, testing whether the water will work. They are getting moderate yields; nothing great at this point. But if it works, the opportunity is tremendous because the land is cheap. The water could be a problem!
In Texas, the trend is toward intensive coastal farms that use small ponds, tight management, aeration, high-quality feeds and, in some cases, waste removal. Up until 1989, Texas shrimp farmers produced around 2,250 kilograms per hectare per year. In 1989, they averaged 3,000 kilograms per hectare. Most farms use paddlewheel aerators.
Postlarvae quality is a major issue in the state. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's dead on arrival. Some virus-laden seedstock was imported into Texas in 1989, causing major regulatory problems. Worried about the effects on the commercial shrimp fishery, the state did not know how to deal with the problem, especially baculovirus in P. vannamei. IHHN virus, resulting in small, stunted shrimp, may also be established in Texas.
The biggest problem in Texas is cool temperatures. If you leave the shrimp in the ponds too late in the fall, they will probably die during the first cold front. They get very lethargic. If you're quick to drain the pond, you can pick them off the bottom, but they will no longer drain harvest. Some of the farms are attempting to deal with the cold winters by using greenhouse-covered ponds to head start their shrimp in the early spring. They put the postlarvae in the small covered ponds in March, instead of April or May, increasing the growout season from four to six weeks. Farmers are also considering a cool water shrimp species as replacements for P. vannamei.
In early 1990, Taiwan Shrimp Farms Development Corporation, a company with more than 20 years experience in Taiwan, announced plans to build a 250-hectare, $16 million shrimp farm in southern Texas. The farm will start with 85 two-hectare ponds, which will nearly double current shrimp farming acreage in south Texas. A second project, planned for later in 1990, calls for the construction of a 365-hectare farm. The company decided to build in Texas because of limited expansion space and crop losses in Taiwan. The capital for the project and 30 specialists (who will train local labor on Taiwanese techniques) will come from Taiwan. The farm will employ at least 100 local people. Plans call for two crops a year, small ponds and around-the-clock feeding.
The Taiwan company attempted to purchase Laguna Madre Shrimp Farms, but negotiations fell through when some of the Laguna Madre owners held out for a higher price. In addition, some of Laguna Madre's large ponds did not fit the Taiwanese mold.
Hawaii: Shrimp farming in Hawaii has a long, colorful history. Before Captain Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1778, Hawaiians were gathering marine shrimp from coastal ponds that ringed the shores of all the islands. The modern industry, however, began in the mid-1960s when Anuenue Fisheries Research Center, part of the state department of aquatic resources, started producing freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) postlarvae.
The marine shrimp culture industry in Hawaii began with a Japanese firm named IKKO which moved to Hawaii and leased five hectares of ponds from the Lowe Aquafarm Company and established a seed facility at the Oceanic Institute. This was in 1979, and IKKO's goal was to use Japanese shrimp production technology to produce P. japonicus, the Kuruma prawn, for live shipment to the Tokyo market. From 1980 to 1983, a pilot-scale farm produced and exported shrimp. During Golden Week (a Japanese holiday) in 1982, IKKO received up to $83 per kilo for its live shrimp. This is an important point because it illustrates the high price that high quality farm-raised shrimp can command. IKKO discontinued the farming operation in 1983.
In the early 1980s, Marine Culture Enterprises, a cooperative venture between the Coca Cola Company and the University of Arizona's Environmental Research Lab, moved its project to Hawaii from Mexico, where it had developed super-intensive shrimp farming technology. This technology utilizes air-supported greenhouses, shallow raceways, high-quality feeds and water exchange rates as high as 500 percent a day. After moving to Hawaii, Marine Culture Enterprises was sold to W.R. Grace and Co., which in 1984 opened its first production unit, consisting of a hectare of raceways. The farm had very lofty goals of producing 1,500 to 2,000 tons per year. However, in 1987, an outbreak of IHHN virus hit the farm. The virus swept through the farm like wildfire, destroying a one million dollar crop of P. stylirostris, a species that becomes easy prey for IHHN. W.R. Grace and Co. looked at that situation as an unacceptable amount of risk and, subsequently, sold the farm to a Norwegian firm that renamed the company Pacific Sea Farms. It is producing P. vannamei in the raceways, while experimenting with a new super-hyper-intensive production system.
Currently, there are five commercial shrimp farms in Hawaii. Three of them are on the north shore of the main island of Oahu in the Kahuku area. They are Amorient Aquafarm, which is the largest farm in the state, Aurea Marine, Inc., and Pacific Sea Farms. Two farms are located on the neighboring island of Molokai. One is Molokai Sea Farms and the other is Ohia Shrimp Farm, a new company that uses the round ponds and the intensive methods developed at the Oceanic Institute.
All the farms in Hawaii work with P. vannamei, but the industry has experience with several other penaeid species. Researchers and hatcheries have worked with P. japonicus, P. stylirostris, P. monodon and P. chinensis. After a lot of trial and error, P. vannamei remains the species of choice.
Amorient Aquafarm is the largest shrimp farm in Hawaii. At one facility it has 143, 0.4-hectare ponds, most of them producing P. vannamei and some of them producing freshwater prawns (M. rosenbergii) and some fish species. Amorient practices semi-intensive methods, while working to intensify production with aeration and better feeds.
Amorient markets its production directly to the consumer. It has a roadside stand right next to the farm where tourists come by, see the farm in the background and buy a variety of products: cooked shrimp, fresh tails, cocktails, a shrimp plate, shrimp on a stick and shrimp tempura. For cooked, whole, freshwater prawns, Amorient gets $21.45 a kilogram for a standard size. For super colossals, about eleven per kilogram, it gets $26.95 a kilogram. For fresh whole shrimp on ice, $14.30 a kilogram; and for tails, about $16.50 a kilogram—very nice prices! The roadside stand moves 45,000 kilograms of product and generates $1,000,000 annually.
The other side of the Amorient marketing effort is something it likens to the "Avon Ladies” of shrimp culture. Amorient has an informal network of women who sell the shrimp door-to-door in ethnic neighborhoods. The Avon Ladies pick up twenty to forty-five kilograms at a time and sell it in their neighborhoods. With the Avon Ladies and the roadside stand, Amorient realizes better than $11 a kilogram for its shrimp. With annual production of around 225,000 kilograms and annual revenues around $2.51 million, the farm is profitable. In 1989, Amorient picked up an option on a neighboring site, the former Systemculture Seafood Plantation, a land-based oyster farm. It converted the site to intensive shrimp farming and is now producing shrimp in eight, square, 0.1-hectare ponds with lined banks. Using aspirating aerators, high stocking densities and expensive high-quality feeds. Amorient calls the new intensive farm AmCo.
The Oceanic Institute (OI), located at Makapuu Point on the windward, southeastern point of the main island of Oahu, is the coordinator for the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's marine shrimp program, funded by the USA Department of Agriculture. Through that program, OI has a major research activity directed at developing the commercial shrimp farming industry. Hawaii's five commercial farms produce in the order of 190,000 kilograms of shrimp and 45,000 kilograms of Macrobrachium a year. Those shrimp are worth about $2.1 million. P. vannamei is definitely the species of choice. All the farms in the state use different techniques; no two seem to be the same. The major constraints to the industry are seedstock availability, diseases and limited site availability. It's difficult to get land for shrimp farming in Hawaii. Oceanic Institute researchers believe that new farms in the state will use intensive systems and pathogen-free seedstock and that farmers will market their own shrimp in non-commodity markets—markets which are more likely to pay a premium price for a premium product.
South Carolina: The first documented attempts at shrimp farming in the continental United States took place in South Carolina in the mid-1950s. These early farmers used extensive techniques along the coast. They would capture wild juveniles, stock them in coastal impoundments and raise them to adults. Some farmers still use this approach, although it is fairly unpredictable because of fluctuating supplies of wild seed, predators and difficulties with harvesting.
In 1984/1985, South Carolina's Waddell Mariculture Center was constructed to provide research and development support, not only for the shrimp farming industry, but also the aquaculture industry in general. The Center works with marine and brackish water species. At present, about half the effort is in shrimp research and development and the other half is in finfish (striped bass hybrids, redfish) and mollusks (clams, oysters).
In 1989, the state had 12 operating shrimp farms and 100 hectares of ponds, but, because of a seedstock shortage in the spring of 1989, only about 70 hectares actually got stocked. One of the largest farms, Edisto Shrimp Company, for example, only stocked 24 of its 57 hectares.
Since the early 1980s, annual increases in total yield and slight increases in kilograms per hectare have occurred. In 1989, however, with the shortage of seedstock, total annual production fell from the 1988 high of 245,000 kilograms to about 135,000 kilograms. Because ponds were stocked much more lightly, due to the postlarvae shortages, the average production for the state fell from about 2,250 kilograms per hectare in 1988 to 1,900 kilograms per hectare in 1989. Within that, there's an enormous range from about 550 kilograms per hectare to nearly 11,200 kilograms per hectare, depending on the way the farm is structured and managed. The farms are hitting their production goals, but many can't afford to expand and intensify. If postlarvae and operating capital were available, the state's 100 hectares of shrimp ponds could, without any new capital, construction or equipment produce 400,000 kilograms of shrimp a year. It's becoming increasingly clear that the key to success in South Carolina shrimp farming is not just good technology and management, but also good marketing.
When South Carolina started in marine shrimp forming, the product was moved through the same outlets that processed the wild shrimp harvest. The pond-side price for whole shrimp in the sizes that are typically produced in South Carolina, which is the equivalent of about a 36-40 or a 41-45 tail count, was around $4.62 a kilogram, a far cry from what Amorient and the farms in Hawaii get for their product. By doing some marketing footwork, finding those niche markets where someone is willing to pay for better quality, the farmer is able to get up to $6.00, or in some cases, even $6.60 a kilogram for the product.
If you look at what it takes to produce a kilogram of whole shrimp, the farmer is spending about $1.32 to $1.34 cents for feed. While this is high and is the major operating cost, it is really favorable when compared to feed costs in other parts of the world. To produce that kilogram of whole shrimp, the farmer is spending about $1.10 to $1.32 on labor, either hired labor or the labor of the owner-operator. Seed costs for postlarvae—if you get what you're supposed to get (mortalities can be high on long shipments)—will range from about $0.88 to $1.10 for every kilogram of shrimp that's produced.
Electricity and fuel accounts for about $0.44 to $0.66 for every kilogram of shrimp harvested. Saltwater is really hard on pumps and aerators, so equipment replacement represents something in the neighborhood of $0.22 to $0.44 per kilogram of shrimp. These direct operating costs add up to $3.96 to $5.06 per kilogram. In commodity markets, shrimp is worth $4.62 per kilogram; in niche markets maybe upwards of $6.60 per kilogram. In South Carolina in 1989, the average price received by the farmer was around $5.50 per kilogram (pond side, whole shrimp).
Producing shrimp at $3.96 and selling at $5.50 allows some room for nice profits, but most of the farmers have an operating loan to cover seed and feed costs until they get some cash flow. The interest on these loans represents $0.22 to $0.44 per kilogram. Then, of course, there's got be some sort of construction loan. It represents anywhere from $0.44 to $0.66 per kilogram. So now we're up to something like $4.62 to $6.16 to produce a shrimp with an average value of $5.50. The good manager producing at $4.62 and selling at $5.50 makes a decent profit. Of course, the farmer producing at $6.16 and selling at $5.50 is not going to be in business very long.
Private sector shrimp farming is a priority of Mexico's new president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari. In late December 1989, the Mexican Congress approved 14 amendments to its fishery laws, allowing—for the first time—private sector shrimp farming! Formerly, shrimp farming in Mexico was reserved for fishing cooperatives and ejidos (agrarian reform communes). The amendments, submitted by Fisheries Minister Maria de Los Angeles Moreno, are part of a wider Mexican initiative to promote private investment. Under the new rules and regulations (which went into effect on April 1, 1990), foreign investment—with a Mexican partner—will be allowed.
Ocean Garden Products, Mexico's largest state-owned shrimp marketing enterprise, is to have an extended role under the new amendments. Ocean Garden intends to oversee the orderly expansion of Mexican shrimp farming. Ocean Garden will finance some shrimp farms and provide marketing assistance to others. It intends to back both intensive and semi-intensive farming methods. A basic aim is to grow shrimp to larger sizes, in order to match Mexico's fine quality wild shrimp.
In the spring of 1990, Mexico, the second largest producer in the Western Hemisphere, had approximately 100 cooperative shrimp farms, seven hatcheries, 7,000 hectares of shrimp ponds, and heads-on production of 6,000 metric tons. Farmers stock hatchery-produced and wild seed and employ extensive and semi-intensive techniques. P. vannamei accounts for most of the production, but P. stylirostris, P. californiensis, P. aztecus, P. setiferus and P. duorarum are also cultured. Approximately 75 percent of the farms are in the state of Sinaloa, 8 percent in Sonora, 6 percent in Nayarit, 4 percent in Tamaulipas, 3 percent in Baja California, with the remaining 4 percent scattered over several other states.
Mexico's southernmost Pacific coast state of Chiapas may be one of the states with the greatest potential for shrimp culture. Private Mexican investors have already begun to fund shrimp farming projects in Chiapas. The southerly latitude of Chiapas, bordering Guatemalan, provides better climatic conditions than are found in the state of Sinaloa where most farms have been built. Coastal areas in Chiapas include extensive estuaries and coastal lagoons with abundant stocks of wild postlarvae (P. vannamei). Chiapas also has more rainfall than the states in northern Mexico. Freshwater streams are abundant and run throughout the year. Large areas along the estuarine shores have soil with a high clay content. The low permeability of clay makes it ideal for pond construction.
Land ownership patterns in Chiapas are notably different from many other Mexican coastal states. Private individuals hold title to more than half of the land adjacent to estuaries, and several Mexican companies are studying the possibility of purchasing large blocks of coastal land or investing in shrimp farms with local landowners. In many other states this is not possible because agrarian reform communes (ejidos) hold title to extensive areas of coastal land and Mexican law prohibits the ejiditarios from selling their holdings, which are assigned in perpetuity to the community. It is believed that almost all corporations considering shrimp culture investments want to purchase the land or enter into cooperative partnerships with private landowners. For a variety of political, legal and economic reasons private investors hesitate to form joint ventures with the ejidos.
Belize: Belize has five shrimp farms, one or two hatcheries (which may or may not be operational at any given time), 200 hectares of ponds, and annual heads-on production of approximately 200 metric tons (live weight). Three of the farms are intensive. One of them has Taiwanese backers. Problems include: high salinities (34 ppt), poor soils (sandy, slightly acidic) and coastal waters that are low in nutrients. High-quality feeds are necessary, especially at the intensive farms. Belize has a stable economy, good relations with the United States and a government that encourages the development of shrimp farming.
Guatemala: Guatemala has ten shrimp farms, zero hatcheries, 1,800 hectares in production and annual heads-on production of approximately 1,200 metric tons per year. Since wild seed is not always available, some farms are considering putting in hatcheries. Farms locate on the Pacific coast in the southern part of the country and employ extensive, semi-intensive and intensive techniques with P. vannamei and to a lesser extent P. stylirostris. One farm uses Taiwanese paddlewheels. It stocks at 60 postlarvae per square meter and gets 4,500 kilograms of tails per hectare per crop, with two crops per year. Most forms, however, use extensive methods and are usually larger than 100 hectares. They stock from 5 to 10 animals per square meter, exchange ten percent of the water daily and use both fertilizer and feed to increase production. The main problem is feed, so some farms are starting to import feed from the United States. To encourage exports of non-traditional products, the government places no restrictions on the importation of shrimp feed. In 1989, the government prohibited the collection of wild seed from August 1 to September 30.
Honduras: Honduras now ranks third in the production of farm raised shrimp in the Western Hemisphere. In 1988, the number of hectares in production rose from 1,250 to 3,000. In 1989, the area increased to 4,500 hectares, and it will probably increase to 6,000 hectares by the end of 1990. Heads-on production is estimated at 4,000 metric tons. Honduras has 15 semi-intensive shrimp farms (ranging from 40 to 1,400 hectares) and almost 60 small extensive farms, mostly associated with salt production. Construction costs for the large commercial farms have been estimated at $7,000 to $10,000 per hectare. Many farms have serious technical and financial problems. Farms are located on the Pacific coast around the Gulf of Fonseca; there are no farms on the Atlantic coast.
Production is based on wild larvae, which fluctuates seasonally between P. vannamei and P. stylirostris. Most farms use semi-intensive technology; 30 percent use extensive technology. With two crops per year, average yields are over 800 kilograms (heads-on) per hectare per year. The main product is shell-on tails, which are exported to the United States.
Exports in 1989 were lower than in 1988 because of a shortage of wild seedstock and the replacement of P. vannamei by P. stylirostris, which forced farmers to develop techniques for farming a new species.
Despite the importance of hatcheries in other shrimp farming countries, there are no hatcheries in Honduras. Farmers recognize the necessity of hatcheries and many are considering hatchery projects. The largest shrimp farm, Granjas Marinas San Bernardo, partly owned by Sea Farms of Honduras, is currently operating a P. vannamei hatchery in Summerland Key, Florida. Some of the broodstock for this hatchery is produced at the farm in Honduras. Seaboard Corporation, a USA corporation with interests in poultry, baking, transportation, grain and other commodities, is starting a 500-hectare shrimp farm in Honduras.
A USAID Shrimp Farming Development Program promotes the development of shrimp farming in Honduras. It supports processing plants, ice plants, feed mills, transport and hatcheries. It also develops training programs, aids technological transfer and plans to develop and supervise a credit mechanism supported by an exporters federation.
El Salvador: In El Salvador, two shrimp farms got started in 1985. Today, one of them uses extensive techniques, stocking 5 postlarvae per square meter; the other uses semi-intensive techniques, stocking 15-30 postlarvae per square meter. On the extensive farm, yields average 450 kilograms of U-26 to U-40 tails per hectare per crop. On the semi-intensive farm, yields approach 900 kilograms of U-41 and U-50 tails per hectare per crop. Because sites are limited, perhaps 6,000 hectares total, the tendency is toward more intensive systems using aeration.
Currently, 6 farms produce shrimp from 124 hectares of ponds. The industry is assisted by a private foundation, FUSADES, which provides expert technical assistance and long-term credits with funds from the USA Agency for International Development. The Taiwanese Mission also provides advisors at a government research station. Ponds produce about 700 kilograms per hectare (heads-on) for a total harvest of about 87 metric tons. In addition to several cooperative ventures funded with United States AID money, there are a handful of private sector farms. Most of the best shrimp farming sites are located in the southeastern half of the country.
Water quality is excellent. P. vannamei is the preferred species, followed by P. stylirostris. Production is based on wild postlarvae captured in the surrounding mangroves. Recognizing the need for a hatchery, FUSADES is adding penaeid capability to its Macrobrachium laboratory and financing another private hatchery to raise at least 6 million postlarvae a month. Farm-raised shrimp is sold to the same processing plants that export the wild catch. The basic presentation is raw, heads-off, frozen shrimp, in five-pound cartons for shipment by air or sea to Miami, Florida, USA. As volume increases, farmers expect to export under their own labels. Three more farms will be added in 1990, and the area under culture should increase to 400 hectares. A second commercial hatchery is planned.
Nicaragua: Not much information on shrimp farming makes its way out of Nicaragua. There are reports of two 70-hectare shrimp farms near the Gulf of Fonseca. One is a cooperative, the other a private sector farm. Both stock P. vannamei postlarvae collected in the Gulf of Fonseca. They export most of the harvest to Canada. A 100-hectare farm, with Chinese assistance, is under construction in the same area.
Costa Rica: Costa Rica offers many advantages to the prospective shrimp farmer including a good climate, good supplies of wild seedstock and a stable government, but shrimp farming has been slow to catch on there. One of the first large forms in the Western Hemisphere was built in Costa Rica in the 1970s. It had a hatchery and 100 hectares, or so, of ponds, but, despite government support and financing, it never did well and is currently for sale.
Costa Rica has five shrimp farms, one hatchery, 300 hectares in production and annual tails-on production of 150 metric tons. Most farms use semi-intensive techniques. Farms locate in Quepos and on the Gulf of Nicoya.
Panama: After the United States and Ecuador, Panama has one of the most important shrimp farming industries in the Western Hemisphere. Its hatcheries are world class, and its farming sector has a ten-year history of production.
In addition to five hatcheries, Panama has about 35 shrimp farms, all on the Pacific coast, many of them in financial trouble. The majority of the land used for shrimp culture lies along the Pacific coast in the low mangrove areas near Punta Chame and in the salt flats surrounding the Gulf of Parita. The total area in production is 3,000 hectares of which 1,000 hectares are on salt flats that can only be used for extensive farming. The predominant species are P. vannamei and P. stylirostris. Supplies of wild postlarvae vary with the month and year. Total production of cultured marine shrimp was 2,840 metric tons in 1987 and 3,427 metric tons in 1988. Growth of the industry slowed in 1989, and farms have been only marginally profitable since 1987. Panamanian farm-raised shrimp are exported to Europe (heads-on), Canada (heads-on) and the United States (heads-off).
Panama's hatchery industry produced around 700 million postlarvae in 1989. Postlarvae sell locally for $5.50 to $6.50 per 1,000 and for $8.00 to $9.00 per 1,000 when exported. When available, wild seed sells for about $1.00 per 1,000. Over ten million postlarvae and 50 million nauplii are exported monthly to countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Agromarina de Panama, a shrimp farm and hatchery in Panama, is the largest exporter of postlarvae in the world. It also supplies broodstock, nauplii and bloodworms to hatcheries around the world and exports over a million kilograms of frozen shrimp from its farm, which employs 350 and produces three crops per year. Agromarina is owned by Houston-based Granada Corporation, which is building a plant in Houston to process beef, poultry and shrimp.
Agromarina de Panama's hatchery is located outside the small town of Veracruz, Panama. Under the previous owner (Ralston Purina), it was the first commercial shrimp hatchery in Latin America and became the model for most of the early hatcheries in the Western Hemisphere.
Granada is spending $1 million a year on research aimed at enhancing the shrimp's growth rate in captivity and strengthening its resistance to disease. The company has employed two teams of geneticists and marine biologists at Texas A&M and Baylor universities. Through a mixture of gene-splicing, hormone treatment and improved nutrition, scientists hope to increase growth rates in the pond by five percent annually over the next five years. Another goal is to develop a strain of shrimp with distinctive characteristics—rapid growth rate, hardiness—to be trademarked like a baby chick and sold to other farmers.
To the east of Central America, between the northern coast of South America and southeastern coast of the United States, the Caribbean Sea and its island nations offer only limited opportunities for shrimp farming. Although shrimp farming has been attempted on many of the islands, currently, only Cuba and the Dominican Republic support farms.
Cuba: Cuba has received funds from the Italian Government and the United Nations for the development of shrimp farming, and the Cuban Government has backed some shrimp farming projects and research, but no reliable statistics are available. Aquaculture Digest guesses that Cuba has two hatcheries, several cooperative farms, 500 hectares in production and total heads-on production of 350 metric tons. At one point, an extensive tank farm was working with P. schmitti.
Dominican Republic: The Dominican Republic has the greatest potential for shrimp farming in the Caribbean. Aquaculture Digest estimates that it has four farms, three hatcheries, 50 hectares in production and annual heads-on production of 50 metric tons. Because of hurricanes, financial problems and management problems, all farms and hatcheries may not be operational at any given time. The largest farm has Taiwanese backing and cultures P. monodon.
Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil engage in shrimp farming, and there have been sporadic attempts at shrimp farming in Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
Brazil: Brazil offers vast potential for shrimp farming. Rumors abound on gigantic government-backed projects, but thus far, development has been slow. Aquaculture Digest guesses that Brazil has 30 shrimp farms, 10 hatcheries, 3,000 hectares in production and annual heads-on production of 1,000 metric tons. About 70 percent of the farms use extensive techniques, while the remaining 30 percent use semi-intensive techniques. Farms locate in the states of Bahia, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande Do Norte, Paraiba and Maranhao. The most popular species are P. subtilis, P. schmitti and P. vannamei.
Colombia: In the late 1980s, shrimp farming developed rapidly on Colombia's Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Farms locate on the Bay of Barbacoas (Caribbean coast), Bay of Galerazamba (Caribbean coast) and the Tumaco area (Pacific coast). Aquaculture Digest estimates that Colombia has 40 farms, 10 hatcheries, 4,000 hectares of ponds, and annual production of 3,000 metric tons. Most farms employ semi-intensive techniques, but there are also extensive and intensive farms. Many farms are not in operation because of management and financial problems and because of difficulties in obtaining seedstock. Farms import seedstock from hatcheries in Panama and, illegally, from Ecuador's Esmeraldas Province. Hatcheries on the Pacific coast ship nauplii and postlarvae to farms on the Caribbean coast. Approximately 85 percent of Colombia's production is P. vannamei, with the remainder made up of P. stylirostris and P. schmitti.
Peru: Aquaculture Digest estimates that Peru has 60 farms, 5 hatcheries, 4,000 hectares of ponds and annual production of 3,000 metric tons of heads-on shrimp. Extensive farms produce large shrimp at low densities; semi-intensive farms produce medium shrimp at higher densities. All farms locate in the northern part of the country, near Ecuador, along the southern edge of the Gulf of Guayaquil. The industry uses inorganic fertilizer to stimulate the food chain during the first two months of growout and pelleted feed for the last three months. Pumping is done at minimum levels, just enough to compensate for evaporation and seepage, and during high tide. Farmers stock wild seed, but use hatchery seed when wild seed is not available. The supply of P. vannamei seedstock is more unpredictable than in Ecuador. P. stylirostris accounts tor five percent of production. None of the hatcheries work very well. Many big foreign projects have failed.
Venezuela: Although Venezuela has 21 registered shrimp farms, only two are operational, one on the northeast coast and one on the northwest coast. Together they cover 160 hectares and produce approximately 100 metric tons a year. One of the farms has a commercial-scale hatchery; the other has an experimental hatchery.
Venezuela's bureaucratic system has greatly delayed the development of shrimp farming. It takes about two years to get the necessary permits. In addition, Venezuela does not have as many good sites as many other countries in Latin America, and farms must build hatcheries because there is no dependable supply of wild seed. And it's also illegal to capture wild seed. Like other countries, the shrimp farming craze hit Venezuela in the early 1980s, but the industry has been slowed by many obstacles, including government red tape, financial problems and the absence of a local species with a good record of production in ponds. Hobbyists and a few investors sustain the industry. Pioneer ventures were poorly designed, under funded and overly optimistic. This is not unlike the development patterns in other countries, but the carcasses of failed projects have begun to accumulate along the coast. Each failure makes new investors and the local lending institutions more nervous.
Venezuela offers a good infrastructure for shrimp farming. It has processing facilities and export channels to the United States and Europe. The costs of building and operating a farm are low in Venezuela. There are few locations that are not accessible by blacktop roads, and many sites have electricity and phone lines close by. Labor (skilled and professional) is abundant and relatively inexpensive.
While permitting may still be an involved process, the government has given shrimp farming top priority. The government recognizes the fact that shrimp farming produces jobs in depressed areas and that farm-raised shrimp are a great export commodity. Recently the newly-elected president, Carlos Andres Perez, made sweeping changes that are designed to attract new foreign capital and technology to stimulate the development of exportable products. This has been accomplished to some extent by lifting import/export restrictions, by easing the laws regulating foreign ownership (and the repatriation of profits) and by abolishing the various fixed rates on currency transactions. The area between Coro and Caracas has some of the best hatchery (larval production) sites. Fresh water is available and many smaller (less than 500 hectares) sites are available for extensive pond production.
From Caracas east to the Orinoco River Delta, not many sites are available that would provide the needed space for a conventional (semi-intensive or extensive) commercial shrimp farm. Mountains run close to the sea, limiting flat areas for pond development. Farming operations in this area will have to be more intensive. In the western sector of the country, from Maracaibo to Coro, there are sites suitable for conventional, low risk commercial shrimp culture. Large, flat, clean tracts of good, thick clay soils are within an hour's drive of Maracaibo. Several farms have located in this area and are in various stages of development. Higher salinities (30 to 35 ppt) will be encountered during the height of the dry season, but they can be countered with heavy water exchange and aeration and by feeding a higher protein diet. Some fresh water is available in the area and good larval production sites are located to the east on or near the Peninsula de Paraguana.
Ecuador: Finally, we come to Ecuador, the leading shrimp farming country in the Western Hemisphere. During the 1980s, Ecuador's shrimp farming industry grew steadily, and its product, a five-pound box of medium-sized frozen tails, received great reviews in the United States. At the beginning of the 1990s, however, Ecuador's shrimp farming industry faces some nasty problems.
Three myths surround the development of shrimp farming in Ecuador. One says the Inca Indians farmed shrimp in Ecuador 400 years ago. They would let high spring tides turn normally dry salt flats into lagoons teeming with larval shrimp. Then they would close off the mouth of the lagoon, wait three or four months, and harvest the crop. The second myth suggests that shrimp farming in Ecuador got a big boost when Peru and Ecuador went to war in the early 1940s. Peruvian pilots would fly over the small fishing villages scattered along the Ecuadorean coast and hand-toss crude bombs at the villagers. When the war ended, the bomb craters lived on as the first shrimp ponds. The third myth, and probably the one that’s closest to the truth, says an unusually high tide around a coconut plantation on the southern edge of the Gulf of Guayaquil in 1966 destroyed a levee. By the time the farmer got around to fixing it, he had a nice crop of shrimp.
The documented record of shrimp farming in Ecuador starts in 1968, when a small group of Ecuadorean entrepreneurs and marine biologists built the first shrimp farm in near Machala in El Oro Province. In 1969, shrimp farms, built by Machala banana farmers along the banks of El Oro's Arenillas River, entered production. As shrimp farming proved profitable, these men diverted more and more capital from bananas to shrimp. Owning a banana plantation brought many advantages. The plantation could be used as collateral in securing bank loans, and those already in agribusiness were well versed in management and international trade.
The industry grew slowly at first, mostly by trial and error. In 1974, an estimated 600 hectares were in production. In the mid-1970s, the industry was concentrated in El Oro Province, but then it spread northward to Guayas Province.
Commercial shrimp fishermen, non-Ecuadorean for the most part, were the next group to enter shrimp farming. In the late 1970s, they owned most of the shrimp farms in Ecuador. It was not until the early 1980s that the industry really began to boom, as big profits caught the eye of the dominant political forces in Ecuador. When foreign investors arrived—predominantly from the USA, but also from France and Japan—government agencies took more interest in managing the development of the industry. The first large hatcheries were built during this period.
In 1981, with approximately 35,000 hectares with of shrimp ponds and another 10,000 under construction, production began to soar and the industry began the transition from extensive to semi-intensive farming. At this time, approximately 60 percent of the farms used extensive techniques, 35 percent were making the transition from extensive to semi-intensive techniques and 5 percent were full-fledged semi-intensive farms. The phenomenal growth of the industry was aided by (1) large areas of salt fiats and intertidal mangroves which could be developed at low cost, (2) the right mix of fresh and salt water, (3) an abundance of wild seedstock, (4) plankton-rich waters which allow low density growout without supplemental feeding, and (5) warm temperatures which permitted year-round growout.
In 1984 and 1985, the growth of Ecuador's shrimp farming industry was slowed by a shortage of wild seedstock, but when the wild seed returned in August 1986, the industry was prepared for its greatest expansion. Fueled by abundant wild seed, plenty of rain and warm temperatures, 1986 and 1987 were big years for Ecuador's shrimp farmers. The industry grew to 1,300 farms and 100,000 hectares of ponds. In 1988, a year of unfavorable weather and declining supplies of wild seedstock, Ecuador's industry produced a surprising 70,000 metric tons of farm-raised shrimp.
In 1989, coastal water temperatures remained cool, the rains did not come at the end of the year, and there were no wild postlarvae. Hatcheries came to the rescue and supplied five billion postlarvae for stocking. Because of lower water temperatures, shrimp growth in the ponds slowed and production dropped from 1988 levels. In addition to the low water temperatures, there was less rain, so estuary salinities increased and plankton populations changed, creating a whole new set of water quality problems for hatcherymen and farmers.
At the end of 1989, Ecuador had 120 hatcheries, a 200 percent increase over the 40 hatcheries at the end of 1988. The "mega-hatcheries" of the mid-1980s gave way to smaller, more flexible hatcheries, ones that produce around 5 to 10 million postlarvae a year from 100 to 200 tons of tank space. These hatcheries rely on wild gravid females for the production of seedstock. The cool waters have made wild females scarce, but sourcing stations in the northern province of Esmeraldas have been able to supply enough females to keep the industry going. In mid-January 1990, hatcheries were selling postlarvae for $6.50 per thousand, and demand was ahead of supply. A couple of large Ecuadorean-based consulting firms helped with hatchery management and technology transfer.
Ecuador estimates it will need 20 billion postlarvae a year by 1995. Currently, it uses 14 billion a year, with approximately 5 billion produced by hatcheries. Maturation facilities have not been very successful. There are probably fewer operating today than at any time in the last several years.
In 1988, Ecuador produced approximately 70,000 metric tons of heads-on, farm-raised shrimp. That's the equivalent of approximately 100 million pounds of shell-on tails. In 1989, because of a seedstock shortage, production dropped to 60,000 metric tons. At the end of 1989, Ecuador had 1,500 shrimp farms, 75 packing plants, 25 feed mills, 120 hatcheries and 120 export companies. Approximately 70,000 hectares were in production. The industry employs 81,000 people, representing more than 2 percent of the country’s labor force.
Official statistics speak of 121,369 hectares of authorized ponds; however, during bad periods, like 1990, many ponds are taken out of production. Guayas Province has 71 percent of the authorized ponds, followed by El Oro with 18 percent, Manabi with 8 percent and Esmeraldas with 3 percent. In Ecuador, 61 percent of the shrimp farms are between 1 and 50 hectares, 15 percent between 51 and 100 hectares, 8 percent between 101 and 150 hectares, 7 percent between 151 and 200 hectares, and 3 percent above 250 hectares.
Many farms are on public lands under the control of the National Defense Ministry through the General Direction of the Merchant Marine and Coast, which is why authorization is necessary from the Navy. Authorization of the Fishing Sub-secretary is also required. Shrimp farms located above the high tide line are owned like other agriculture property and do not need an authorization for 10 years. In 1987, they occupied 61 percent of authorized area, totaling 69,766 hectares.
Ecuador exported $311,700,000 worth of farm-raised shrimp in 1989. Processors continue to diversify their products and vary their marketing strategies. In addition to frozen tails and peeled and deveined IQF (individually quick frozen) tails for the USA market, they have increased their penetration of the European market, especially Spain, France and Italy, with frozen whole animals. In 1990, 25 percent or more of the Ecuadorean product might go to Europe!
In the fall of 1989, Ecuador's shrimp farming industry was hit with heavy mortalities in growout ponds. Most farmers thought the problem would disappear when the rains returned in December—but the rains never came, and heavy mortalities continued through March 1990. Although it rained in late March, the industry lost "millions upon millions" of dollars.
Farmers call the problem "Sea Gull Disease" because sea gulls pluck the dying shrimp from the edges of the pond. Low pond temperatures, plankton blooms, oil spills, pollution, feeds, weak seedstock, reservoir draining, dredging in the Guayas River and heavy organic loads in the ponds get blamed for the disease. Actually, no one knows what's going on, but everyone agrees that the weather plays a major role in the problem.
To understand Ecuador's shrimp farming industry, you must understand its weather. Ecuador "usually" has a hot rainy season from January to April and a period of little or no rain and cool nights from May to December. But since Ecuador is also located at the epicenter of one of the world's great weather phenomena—the El Niño—its "usual" weather is frequently interrupted by a full year or more of hot, rainy weather. El Niños usually arrive around Christmas. There have been five since 1964. Sometimes it rains so much that roads, bridges, electricity and communications are knocked out in the farm and hatchery areas.
During El Niño years, 1963 and 1987 for example, the shrimp farming industry prospers. Wild shrimp, the industry's primary source of seedstock, reproduce in great numbers, supplying hatcheries with endless quantities of pregnant females and supplying farmers with highly-prized wild postlarvae. Shrimp like the warm water temperatures and grow rapidly in the brackish water environment created by the heavy rains.
Between El Niños (1984 to 1986), coastal waters cool, it rains less, and farmers limp along with reduced supplies of hatchery and wild seedstock. Coastal upwelling returns during non-El Niño years, bringing nutrient rich waters to the surface that stimulate planktonic food chains. Some species of fish flourish during these periods, but wild populations of shrimp don't like the cool temperatures and their numbers decline.
Every once in awhile, along comes an El Niña (1988/1989), the opposite of an El Niño, a period of exceptionally cool, dry weather. Wild shrimp curtail their breeding activity, wild postlarvae disappear, and farmers rely on hatchery-produced seedstock, spawned from wild pregnant females captured off the northern coast of Esmeraldas. Since there's less rain, pond salinities increase. Seed shortages develop, and hatchery construction accelerates.
During El Niña years, low water temperatures take their toll on the industry. P. vannamei, which represents 95 percent of Ecuador's production of farm-raised shrimp grows well as long as water temperatures remain above 25°C, but when they drop to 23°C, growth begins to slow. In 1989, morning pond temperatures were as low as 20°C, lengthening the growout period, increasing costs and making the shrimp more susceptible to disease.
What's the weather pattern in 1990? It looks like a regular old non-El Niño year-with a twist, of course. Although water temperatures increased from their lows of 1989, there was little rain during the 1989/1990 winter season. It will probably be December 1990 before heavy rains return! There's talk of a new El Niño at the end of the year, but then there's always talk about a new El Niño at the end of the year. No doubt 1990 will deliver another year of relentlessly unpredictable weather.
Although the weather phenomena are somewhat cyclical (every seven years, or so, for an El Niño), they are tough to predict. Farmers never know what to expect. Scheduling hatchery and farm output around the weather creates major headaches for the industry. One of the weather's greatest ironies: hatcheries work best when there are abundant supplies of wild seedstock. At the hour of greatest need—when the wild seed disappears—they often fail to deliver. Perhaps the same phenomena that strike the wild shrimp also strike the hatcheries. Some scientists think the weather is associated with undersea earthquakes along shifting tectonic plates. They contend that magma emanating from Earth's interior may somehow be driving the weather at its surface. At least, that would explain the randomness of it all.
Twenty-five feed mills produce shrimp feeds in Ecuador. Feeds might play a role in the mortality problem. Ecuadorean farmers do not use high-quality feeds. They don't have to because P. vannamei can usually get along on inexpensive, low-protein (22 percent) feeds. Generally, the feeds meet the nutritional requirements of P. vannamei in semi-intensive culture. During periods of cool weather and high salinities, however, the pond biology might change in such a way that the shrimp don't get the necessary nutrients. Also, Ecuadorean feeds disintegrate rapidly, contributing organic material to the pond and nutrients to the pond effluent—yet feed mills are not allowed to import binders that would improve feed stability. Ecuador bans the import of processed shrimp feeds, but does allow the import of vitamins and pre-mixes.
Sewage from Guayaquil, pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural lands and heavy metals from the mining industry all find their way to the Gulf of Guayaquil. Here they join the effluent from the shrimp farms—enriched with shrimp waste products, nutrients from disintegrating feeds and fertilizers added to increase natural food chains. Nobody knows what's going on in this exotic brew, which may get pumped through several farms on its way to the sea.
High salinities and low pond temperatures retard shrimp growth and favor Vibrio bacteria that attack and kill shrimp. In the current epidemic, a cluster of Vibrios gang up on the shrimp, but it appears that Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and to a lesser extent, V. alginolyticus, cause most mortalities. Vibrio species are always present in the aquatic environment. When their populations are low, a shrimp's defenses are normally capable of warding them off, but when stressed by low water temperatures, high salinity and questionable water quality, shrimp fall prey to the Vibrios.
Disease Diagnosis and Control in North American Marine Aquaculture (by Carl Sindermann) contains a short chapter on the vibrio diseases of penaeid shrimp. It makes these comments: "Virtually all of the genera and species of bacteria that have been reported to cause disease in penaeid shrimp have also been reported as part of their normal micro-flora as well. ....Apparently, the shrimp's defense mechanisms are capable of controlling these bacteria when they are in low numbers if the shrimp is not otherwise compromised. ....Epizootics of vibriosis may be acute, sub-acute or chronic. Mortality rates may range from inconsequential to 100 percent of affected populations." The chapter also contains a detailed discussion of the drugs and chemicals that are used to fight Vibrios.
Diseases cut a wide swath through farms in the Gulf of Guayaquil, but not all farms have been hit. Some farms, especially those in low salinity areas and those in northern Ecuador, are producing good crops. Other farms have experienced 100 percent mortalities, not knowing until the day of the harvest that they had a problem. One observer thought 40 percent of the farms were affected. As the result of the cold, dry weather in 1989, Ecuador exported about 40 million kilograms of tails, down from 50 million kilograms in 1988. In January 1990, Ecuador exported 2.9 million kilograms of shrimp, down almost 40 percent from 1989's 45 million kilograms. Although some farms stocked limited supplies of wild seedstock in January 1990, production for the remainder of 1990 will be down because of the mortality problem, because many ponds are empty and because there is a shortage of wild and hatchery-produced seedstock. In fact, most hatcheries are closed because of disease problems. In the hatcheries, among other diseases, a luminous Vibrio lights up the tanks and kills the larvae.
Farmers scramble to get a handle on the mortality problem. Some refuse to restock until they understand what's going on. They believe that when the rains return, the problem will correct itself. They think the system will get flushed out, water temperatures will increase and salinities will decline. Remember, Ecuador's winter comes during the northern hemisphere's summer, so water temperatures will go lower before they begin to warm up in October-December 1990. These farmers think it's just not a good time to be stocking ponds, especially since hatchery and wild seedstock are also weakened by Vibrios. Other farmers hope to avoid the mortality problem by stocking at lower densities. Still others have success with medicated feeds. A wide range of antibiotics is being used in the feeds. Hoping to gain an advantage over the competition, some feed companies don't tell the farmers which antibiotics they're using.
The industry faces a nervous year. Farmers worry about the effect on farm values, on new investment, on the high-quality reputation of their product and on their image as one of the leading shrimp farming nations. They need not worry. The industry will survive. Farming industries all over the world face up and down years associated with disease and the weather. Well-managed farms will survive; the "quick-buck" artists will perish; and the industry will achieve new production records in the 1990s.
Shrimp farmers in the Western Hemisphere account for 11 percent of world production. In 1989, they produced about 61,000 metric tons of heads-on product from approximately 90,000 hectares of ponds. They dream of dominating the huge United States shrimp market but need capital to do it.
For the past decade, most Latin governments have been stuck on interventionist, protectionist economic policies that obstructed the development of shrimp farming. Regulations, corruption, incentives, subsidies, penalties and prohibitions—all the products of monumental bureaucracies—subjected prospective farmers and foreign investors to a bewildering array of obstacles. It's not surprising, then, that Ecuador's shrimp farming industry achieved its greatest heights during the reign of a free market president (who benefited greatly from a nice run of good shrimp farming weather).
As the new decade unfolds, Latin America faces rampant inflation, astronomical debt, stagnant growth and currency devaluations. The current economic crisis began in the 1980s when interest rates shot up and prices for export commodities fell. A hoped-for boom in foreign investment has not materialized.
But it's not all bad. The winds of change are sweeping Latin America. The heavy hand of government appears to be loosening its grip. Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, the three largest economies in Latin America, recently embarked on new free market policies. Peru appears headed toward a free market. Ecuador's new left-of-center government has finally recognized the importance of shrimp farming to the national economy. Everywhere in Latin America, guerillas, tyrants and drug lords are in full retreat. Latin America plans extensive economic restructuring in the 1990s and hopes for pragmatic and liberal policies that will let supply and demand replace government price controls.
As a result of the changing political/economical environment, shrimp farming will receive a lot of attention in Latin America in the next few years. Most Latin governments view shrimp farming as a desirable industry because it employs large numbers of people in areas that have not been used for traditional agriculture. They also know that farm-raised shrimp is a great export crop.
About This Report
Accurate statistics on shrimp farming in the Western Hemisphere do not exist! This report represents the Aquaculture Digest's best estimate of the status of shrimp farming in the Western Hemisphere during the spring of 1990. It's based on a thorough review of the published literature, hundreds of written reports from shrimp farmers, consultants and government specialists and daily communications with shrimp farming specialists in the Western Hemisphere. But, keep in mind, it's just an estimate. For some countries, the numbers are based on skimpy data; for others, good old-fashioned guessing produced the results. Overall, the numbers are probably within 30 percent of reality.
Most countries in the region have serious political and economic problems. Data collection and reporting receive low priority. If governments report on their fisheries production, they usually lump farm-raised shrimp in with the wild catch, so it's difficult to determine what's what. And then government reports are often several years behind the times—and may carry a political bias. Farmers fear governmental repercussions if they tell the truth about problems. Nobody wants to "go on the record". Language also causes difficulties. Most farmers in the Western Hemisphere speak Spanish, while most of the information is published in English. Finally, conditions change so rapidly in the fledgling industry that no one can keep up with the burgeoning, fluctuating numbers. For example, the disease epidemic in Ecuador will certainly send production down. Will Mexico and Brazil fill the gap? Not likely! Will shrimp farming succeed in the Western Hemisphere? Certainly! Will it be smooth sailing. Certainly.....not!
Acknowledgements and Contacts
In one way or another, the following individuals contributed to this report.
Aiken, David, Managing Editor, World Aquaculture (contains articles on world shrimp farming), World Aquaculture Society, Biological Station, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada EOG 2X0 (phone 506-529-8854, fax 506-529-4274).
Akiyama, Dean, Ph.D., Technical Director, American Soybean Association (soybean feeds, publications), 541 Orchard Road, #11-03 Liat Towers, Republic of Singapore 0923 (phone 065-737-6223, fax 065-737-5849).
Allen, John, Managing Director, Overseas Technical Associates, Ltd. (consulting), 2333 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 3314, Honolulu, HI 96826 USA (phone 808-947-2298, fax 808-834-4833).
Andersen, Robert, Director, Provasoli-Guillard Center for the Culture of Marine Phytoplankton (sells algal cultures), Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science, West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575 USA (phone 207-633-2173, fax 207-633-6584).
Banks, Stuart, Managing Editor/Publisher, Fish Farmer (occasional articles on world shrimp farming), 34 Amberiey Drive, Woodham, Weybridge, Surrey, England, United Kingdom KT15 3SL (phone 0932-851668, fax 0932-859747).
Bartlett, Peter, President of Camaronex, University Nacional (research, farmer), Apartado 739, Centro Colon, San Jose 1007, Costa Rica (phone 31-15-48).
Berdegue Sacristan, Fernando, President, BIOTAC (farm management, consulting), Av. Camaron Sabato, P.O. Box 813, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Berger, Christian, Plant Manager, Nicolini Hnos, S.A. (growout feeds), Apartado 943, Lima (1), Peru (phone 51-14-29-1772, fax 51-14-65-1458).
Blake, Dixie, Marketing Manager, Ocean Garden Products, Inc. (aiding Mexico's shrimp farming industry), 3585 Corporate Court, P.O. Box 81227, San Diego, CA 92138 USA (phone 619-571-5022, fax 619-571-2009).
Boeing, Phil, Consultant (shrimp/mollusks, hatcheries/farms), P.O. Box 11166, Guayaquil, Ecuador (phone 593-300-393, fax 593-329417).
Boyd, Claude, Ph.D (water quality), Auburn University, Dept. of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University, AL 36849 USA (phone 205-844-4786, fax 205-844-9208).
Branstetter, Henry, Director, Cultured Seafood Economic Institute (marketing), P.O. Box 2332, La Jolla, CA 92038 USA (phone 619-459-6349, fax 619-4594-0921).
Buddle, Roy, Regional Manager (South and Central America), Sanofi Aquaculture (hatchery feeds), C/O Agripac, S.A., Gen. Cordova 623 y Padre Solano, Casilla 8598, Guayaquil, Ecuador (phone 593-4-300400, ext. 366, fax 593-4-314149).
Burne, John, Librarian (information on world shrimp forming), Dept. of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, Marine Laboratory, P.O. Box 101, Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB9 8DB Scotland, United Kingdom (phone 0224-876544, fax 0224479156).
Burzell, Linden, Vice President, Amorient Aquafarm, Inc. (farm management), P.O. Box 131, Kahuku, HI 96731 USA (phone 808-293-8531, fax 808-293-5391).
Carpenter, Nick, Operations Manager, Amorient Aquafarm, Inc. (hatchery/growout), P.O. Box 131, Kahuku, HI 96731 USA (phone 808-293-8531, fax 808-293-5391).
Castell, John, Editor, Crustacean Nutrition Newsletter, c/o Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, Biological Sciences Branch, Halifax Fisheries Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 550, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 2S7 (phone 902-4266270, fax 902-426-3479).
Chamberlain, George, Ph.D. (hatchery, growout, extension), Texas A&M University, Route 2, Box 589, Corpus Christi, TX 78410 USA (phone 512-265-9203, fax 512-265-9434).
Chamorro, Roberto, Engineer (program management, finance), Federation de Asociaciones de Productores y Exportadores, Agropecuarios y Agroindustriales de Honduras (FPX), Dept. 520, P.O. Box 52-6450, Miami, FL 33152-6450 USA (phone 504-52-6794, fax 504-52-7852).
Chauvin, William, President/Publisher, Shrimp World Incorporated (market analysis), 417 Eliza Street, New Orleans, LA 70114 USA (phone 504-368-1571, fax 504-368-1573).
Chaves Justo, Claudio, Ph.D. (editor, English, Spanish, Japanese), Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan (phone 473-63-9441, fax 3-812-0529).
Chien, Kenneth, Manager, Dahjang Company, USA (larval feeds), 2100 Lorain Road, San Marino, CA 91108 USA (phone 818-5844-505, fax 818-308-0772).
Christensen, Katherine, Economic and Commercial Officer, American Embassy, P.O. Box 286, Belize City, Belize.
Clifford, Henry, Vice President, Tropical Mariculture Technology, Inc. (consulting), Apartado Aereo 2, Cartagena, Colombia (phone 57-53-652-783, fax 57-53-655293).
Cohen, Cheri, Vice President of Public Relations, Aeration Industries International, Inc. (aeration equipment), P.O. Box 59144, Minneapolis, MN 55459 USA (phone 612-448-6789, fax 612-448-7293).
Colvin, L. Benard, Ph.D., Colvin Enterprises (consulting), 8601 Lamplighter Lane, Port Arthur, TX 77642 USA (phone 409-727-0056, fax 409-724-0549).
Cotsapas, Linos, Vice President Operations, Research Planning, Inc. (RPI) (consulting, training, project development and management), 1200 Park Street, P.O. Box 328, Columbia, SC 29202 USA (phone 803-256-7322, fax 803-254-6445).
Csavas, Imre, Aquaculture Officer, FAO-Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (information, Southeast Asia), Maliwan Mansion, Pbra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (phone 662-281-7844, fax 662-2800445).
De Meulemeester, Alain, Marketing Manager, Anemia Systems NV-SA (hatchery feeds), Wiedauwkaai 79, B-9000 Gent, Belgium (phone +32-91-53-41-42, fax +32-91-53-68-93).
de Saram, Henri, Director, INFOFISH (market news), P.O. Box 10899, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (phone 2914466, fax 603-291-6804).
Dore, Ian, Writer (illustrated guide to shrimp), P.O. Box 1284, Stanwood, WA 98292 USA (phone 206-387-2337, fax 206-387-8867).
Dugger, Durwood, President, Cultured Seafood Group, Inc. (consulting and equipment sales), 407 Palm Blvd., Port Isabel, TX 78578 USA (phone 512-943-5098, fax 512-943-3219).
Evans, Brian, Director, Aqua Mana Aquatic Feeds (crustacean feeds and postlarvae), 921 Griffin, Graver City, CA 93433 USA (phone 805-473-1154, fax 805-473-1096).
Fast, Arlo, Ph.D. (research, marine biology, book on shrimp farming), University of Hawaii, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, P.O. Box 1346, Kaneohe, HI 96744 USA (phone 808-247-6631, fax 808-247-6634).
Francisco Da Silva, Jose, Economist, Embaixada Dos Estados Unidos Da America, Secao Economica, Av. Das Nacoes, Lote-3, 70403 Brasilia, DF, Brazil (phone 321-7272 Ramal-371).
Gallagher, Richard, Publisher, Aquaculture Magazine (occasional articles on world shrimp farming), Achill River Corporation, 31 College Place, Asheville, NC 28801 USA (phone 704-254-7334).
Gannaway, Michael, Manager of Business Development, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. (feed binders, equipment), Agricultural Products Department, P.O. Box 80038, P38/3-215, Barley Mill Plaza, Wilmington, DE 19880 USA (phone 302-992-6034, fax 302-892-1706).
Hardin, Mark, Project Manager, Tropical Research and Development, Inc. (consulting, Latin America), 519 N.W. 60th Street, Suite D, Gainesville, FL 32607 USA (phone 904-331-1886, fax 904-331-3284).
Hasselback, Nancy, Publisher, Seafood Business (articles on world shrimp farming and marketing), 120 Tillson Avenue, P.O. Box 908, Rockland, ME 04841 USA (phone 207-594-6222).
Hayes, Miles, President, RPI International, Inc. (consulting, training programs), 1200 Park Street, P.O. Box 328, Columbia, SC 29202 USA (phone 803-256-7322, fax 803-254-6445).
Hewitt, John, Director of Marketing and Sales, Aquaculture Feed Division, Rangen, Inc. (aquaculture feeds, premixes, concentrates), 115-13th Avenue, South, P.O. Box 706, Buhl, ID 83316 USA (phone 208-543-6421, fax 208-543-4698).
Hicks, Edgardo, Ph.D., Science Officer, Embassy of the USA-Mexico, P.O. Box 3087, Laredo, TX 78044 USA (phone 905-211-0042).
Hirono, Yosuke, President, Penaeid Tecnologia International, S.A. (consulting), P.O. Box 2422 Urdesa, Guayaquil, Ecuador (phone 05934-28-66-43, fax 05934-28-66-46).
Fox, Joe, Consultant (Asia and Latin America), 6635 -South Staples, Apt. 822, Corpus Christi, TX 78413 USA (phone 512-992-9723, fax 512-749-5756).
Hjul, Peter, Editor, Fish Farming International (contains articles on world shrimp farming), AGB Heighway, Ltd., Cloister Court, 24 Farringdon Lane, London, England, United Kingdom EC1R3AV (phone 01-253-3456, fax 01-250-3343).
Homziak, Jury, Ph.D. (extension, dredge sites for shrimp farming), Mississippi State University, Coastal Research and Extension Center, 2710 Beach Boulevard, Suite 1-E, Biloxi, MS 39531 USA (phone 601-388-4710, fax 601-388-1375).
Hopkins, Steve (program management), Manager, Waddell Mariculture Center, P.O. Box 809, Saw Mill Creek Road, Bluffton, SC 29910 USA (phone 803-837-3795, fax 803-837-3487).
Hougart, Bille, Vice President, Oceanic Institute and OI Consultants, Inc. (consulting), 2000 T Street, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 USA (phone 202-785-8505, fax 202-833-3843).
Hudson, David, General Manager, Acapolon Corporation (growout), 15th Avenue 19-04, Zone 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala (phone 502-2-68-03-55, fax 502-2-37-45-63).
Insalata, Bud, Director, Aquafauna, Inc. (hatchery supplies), P.O. Box 5, Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA (phone 213-973-5257, fax 213-676-9387).
Johnston, Richard, Foreign Affairs Specialist (Latin American fisheries), USDC/NOAA/NMFSF/IA23, Foreign Fisheries Analysis Branch, 1335 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA (phone 301-427-2286, fax 301-427-2258).
Kujjis, Andrew, Vice President for New Project Development (design/implementation/hatchery/growout), Amorient Aquafarm, Inc., P.O. Box 131, Kahuku, HI 96731 USA (phone 808-293-8531, fax 808-293-5391).
Lai, Leland, Director, Aquafauna, Inc. (hatchery supplies), P.O. Box 5, Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA (phone 213-973-5257, fax 213-676-9387).
Lamon, Mark, General Manager, Ocean Star International, Inc. (hatchery feeds), P.O. Box 643, Snowville, UT 84336 USA (phone 801-872-8217, fax 801-872-8272).
Lawrence, Addison, Professor (research), Texas A&M University, P.O. Drawer Q, Port Aransas, TX 78373 USA (phone 512-749-6748, fax 512-749-5756).
Lee, Daniel, (consulting), 22 Dale Street, Menai Bridge, Gwynedd LL59 5AH, United Kingdom (phone 0-248-714014).
Leslie, Mark, Procurement Director, Treasure Isle, Inc. (marketing), P.O. Box 408, Dover, FL 33527 USA (phone 813-659-1104, fax 813-659-0033).
Lester, James, Ph.D. (research, genetics), University of Houston/Clear Lake, Biological Science Program, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, TX 77058 USA (phone 713-283-3011, fax 713-283-2010).
Lightner, Donald, Ph.D. (research, diseases, Vibrios, viruses), University of Arizona, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA (phone 602-621-8414, fax 602-621-6366).
Lippert, Lee, President, Lippert International (pumping, feeding, processing and hatchery equipment), P.O. Box 8766, Jacksonville, FL 32239 USA (phone 904-724-3400, fax 904-724-7509).
Lucien-Brun, Herve, Project Manager, SEPIA International (production and consulting), 2, Rue Stephenson, F-78181SL Quentin en Yvelines Cedex, France (phone 33-1-30-60-61-60, fax 33-1-30-57-97-45).
MacMichael, Betsy, Vice President of Overseas Administrative Operations (program development and management), Hawaii Aquaculture Company, Avenida Masferrer Sur, Calle Victor Mejia Lara #14-134, Colonia Campestre, San Salvador, El Salvador (phone and fax 503-235711).
McSweeny, Edward, Ph.D. (farm management, consulting), 23600 S.W. 142nd Avenue, Homestead, FL 33032 USA (phone 305-258-5418).
McVey, James, Associate Program Director for Animal Aquaculture, National Sea Grant College Program, 6010 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850 USA (phone 301-427-2451).
Malecha, Spencer, President, Hawaii Aquaculture Company, Inc. (consulting), 1103 9th Avenue, Suite 206, Honolulu, HI 96816 USA (phone 808-733-2006, fax 808-733-2011).
Martin, Bruce, Farm Manager, Martin Shrimp Farm, P.O. Box 518, Hollywood, SC 29449 USA (phone 803-889-2622).
Massey, Juliette, Home Office Manager, World Aquaculture Society (research, information, publications), Louisiana State University, 16 East Fraternity Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 USA (phone 504-388-3137, fax 504-388-3493).
Maugle, Paul, Ph.D., Nutritionist, P.D.M. and Associates (growout and larval feeds), 88 Central Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360 USA (phone 203-889-1550, fax 203-887-9264).
Metzger, Shirley, President, Sort-Rite International, Inc. (shrimp processing equipment), P.O. Box 1805, Harlingen, TX 78551 USA (phone 512-423-2427, fax 512-423-2543).
Meyer, Philip, President, Amorient Aquaculture International (financial management), P.O. Box 6669, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 USA (phone 714-495-1980, fax 714-495-7105).
Michener, Bruce, Agribusiness Advisor, USAID El Salvador, APO Miami, FL 34023 USA (fax 503-980885).
Mock, Cornelius, President, Cornelius Mock and Associates (consulting), 38 West Dansby Drive, Galveston, TX 77551 USA (phone 409-744-1172, fax 409-740-0264).
Mulvihill, Michael, President, AREA, Inc. (aeration, water and heating systems), P.O. Box 1303, Homestead, FL 33090 USA (phone 305-248-4205, fax 305-248-1756).
Mylvaganam, Ram, Sales Manager, Sanofi (hatchery feeds), 10, Rue de Chaillot, 75116 Paris, France (phone +33-1-40-73-29-12, fax +33-1-40-73-40-87).
New, Michael, Coordinator, ASEAN-EEC Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (AADCP), P.O. Box 1006, Bangkok 10903, Thailand (phone +66-2-580-6022, fax +66-2-580-6023).
Nicolini, Miguel, Director, Nicolini Hnos., S.A. (growout feeds), Apartado 943, Lima (1), Peru (phone 51-14-310010, fax 651458).
Niemeier, Paul, Foreign Affairs Officer (Asian fisheries), USDC/NOAA/NMFS-F/IA23, Foreign Fisheries Analysis Branch, 1335 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA (phone 301-427-2286, fax 301-427-2258).
Nimkoff, Robert, Vice President, First Republic Corporation (shrimp farm management), 302 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA (phone 212-279-6100, fax 212-629-6848).
Ogle, John, Researcher Associate (hatcheries), Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, 703 East Beach Blvd., P.O. Box 7000, Ocean Springs, MS 39564 USA (phone 601-875-2244 fax 601-872-4204).
Pang, Jorge, Technology and Sales Manager, Agromarina de Panama (nauplii and postlarval sales), Apartado 6-4600, El Dorado, Panama, Republic of Panama (phone 50-0161, fax 50-0056).
Parker, Jack, Consultant (site selection, design, construction and facility management, marketing), 3117 Jacaranda, Harlingen, TX 78550 USA (phone 512-423-3643).
Peckham, Charles, President, LMR Fisheries Research, Inc. (market analyses), Suite A, 11855 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92121 USA (phone 619-792-6515, fax 619-792-6519).
Persyn, Harvey, President, Tropical Mariculture Technology, Inc. (consulting), P.O. Box 2321, Crystal River, FL 32629 USA (phone 904-795-4349, Telex 4992638 TROP MT).
Pettibone, Wynn (shrimp farm management), President, Laguna Madre Shrimp Farms, Inc., P.O. Box 4043, Los Fresnos, TX 78566 USA (phone 512-233-5723, fax 512-233-9779).
Pomeroy, Robert, Ph.D., Clemson Extension Service, 262 Barre Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634 USA (phone 803-656-5789, fax 803-656-3608).
Pruder, Gary, Shrimp Consortium Coordinator (program management), Oceanic Institute, P.O. Box 25280, Honolulu, HI 96825 USA (phone 808-259-7951, fax 808-259-5971).
Puzo, Daniel, Staff Writer (food/aquaculture), Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053 USA (phone 800-528-4637).
Rackowe, Robin, President, International Marine Fisheries Company (marketing, processing, vessels), 7071 S.W. 47th Street, Miami, FL 33155 USA (phone 305-662-1134, fax 305-662-4256).
Rea, Bob, President (farm management), Acapolon Corp., P.O. Box 7574, Monroe, LA 71211 USA (phone 318-343-2900, fax 318-345-2109).
Redmayne, Peter, Editor and Publisher, Seafood Leader (articles on world shrimp farming and marketing), Waterfront Press Company, 1115 N.W. 46th Street, Seattle, WA 98107 USA (phone 206-547-0201, fax 206-789-9193).
Rhodes, Raymond, Industry Economist (marketing research), South Carolina Marine Resources Center, P.O. Box 12S59, Charleston, SC 29412 USA (phone 803-762-5040, fax 803-762-5001).
Rocha, Itamar Paiva, Fishery Engineer (consulting and farm management), MCR—Aquaculture, Ltda., Rua Jose Lianza, 55-Tambi, JoMo Pessoa, PB/Brazil CEP 58.023 (phone 083-2412289, fax 083-2224538).
Sandifer, Paul, Director (research, fisheries management), Marine Resources Division, South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, P.O. Box 12559, Charleston, SC 29412 USA (phone 803-795-6350, fax 803-762-5001).
Schmidt, Andy, President, San Diego Brine Shrimp, Inc. (hatchery feeds), 2212 Versus Street, San Diego, CA 92154 USA (phone 619-429-1900, fax 619-429-6312).
Schmidt, Anton, President, San Francisco Bay Brand (hatchery feeds), P.O. Box 345, Newark, CA 94560 USA (phone 415-792-7200, fax 415-792-5360).
Scura, Ed, President, Aquatic Farms, Ltd. (consulting), 1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1608, Honolulu, HI 96813 USA (phone 808-531-8061, fax 808-521-8928).
Secretan, Paddy, Managing Director, Aquacultural Insurance Service, Ltd. (insurance), Suite B, Franklynn Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, England, UK, RH16 4DG (phone 0444-414821, fax 0444-452277).
Shleser, Robert, President, Aquaculture Concepts, Inc. (consulting), P.O. Box 40386, San Juan, PR 00940 USA (phone 808-724-7975, fax 809-725-0835).
Shnider, Marshall, President/CEO, Sweet-Water Prawn, Ltd. (freshwater prawns), 629 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001 USA (phone 212-564-3644, fax 212-564-8652).
Shumway, Sandra, President-elect, National Shellfisheries Association (research, crustaceans and mollusk), Department of Marine Resources, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science, West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575 USA (phone 207-633-5572, fox 207-633-7109).
Smitherman, Renford, USDA Aquaculture Coordinator, USA Dept. of Agriculture—CSRS/SPPS, 14th and Independence Avenue, S.W., Aerospace Building, Suite 342, Washington, DC 20250 (phone 202-447-2929, fax 202-475-3179).
Snell, John, President, General Shrimp, Ltd. (farm management), Independence, Stand Creek District, Belize (phone 01-501-06-2018, fax 001-501-06-200).
Sorgeloos, Patrick, Ph.D., Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center (hatchery feeds), State University of Ghent, Rozier 44, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium (phone +32-91-25-75-71, fax +32-91-23-64-06).
Staha, Ronald, President, Mariculture Management Services, S.A. (consulting), Edificio Plaza 50, 5 Piso, Via Brasil y Calle 50, Panama City, Panama (phone 507-64-7633, fox 507-69-2568).
Sturgis, Barbara, Owner (farm management), Taylor Creek Shrimp Farm, Route 1, P.O. Box 354E, Ridgeland, SC 29936 USA (phone 803-726-6836).
Tabrah, Joseph, General Manager, Acuespecies, S.A. (hatchery), Casilla 5608, Guayaquil, Ecuador (phone 289-313, fax 283-951).
Taylor, Frank, President (farm management), Atlantec Seafarms, 7994 White Point Road, Yonges Island, SC 29494 USA (phone 803-889-6086, fax 803-889-3580).
Treece, Granvil, Sea Grant Mariculture Specialist (project planning, hatcheries, training programs), Sea Grant College Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 USA (phone 409-845-7527, fax 409-845-7525).
Trosclair, Carroll, Editor, Water Farming Journal (occasional articles on USA shrimp farming), 3400 Neyrey Drive, Metairie, LA 70002 USA (phone 504-885-9583, fax 504-454-8934).
van Eys, Sjef, Director, INFOPESCA (shrimp farming situation in Latin America), Apartado 6-4894, Estafeta EI Dorado, Panama (phone 507-69-3066, fax 507-64-65589).
Weidner, Dennis, Foreign Affairs Officer (Latin American fisheries), USDC/NOAA/NMFS--F/IA23, Foreign Fisheries Analysis Branch, 1335 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA (phone 301-427-2286, fax 301-427-2258).
Whetstone, Jack, Coastal Aquaculture Specialist (extension), Clemson University Extension Service, Drawer 1100, Georgetown, SC 29442 USA (phone 803-546-4481, fax 803-546-6296).
Wyban, Jim, Principal Investigator (intensive production), Oceanic Institute, Makapuu Point, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-7951, fax 808-259-5971).
Zeigler, Thomas, President, Zeigler Bros., Inc. (feeds, equipment), P.O. Box 95, Gardners, PA 17324 USA (phone 717-677-6181, fax 717-677-4323).
Source: Technical and Economic Aspects of Shrimp Farming. Editors, Michael B. New, Henri de Saram and Tarlochan Singh. Proceedings of the Aquatech ’90 Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shrimp Farming in the Western Hemisphere. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International. June 11-14, 1990.
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