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March 26, 2014


Status of Shrimp Farming in 2011/2012



In 2011/2012, Australia produced 4,020 metric tons of farmed shrimp, worth $56.7 million.


The majority of farms are in northern Queensland, with the remainder in southern Queensland, northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory.


Previously the giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) was the primary species farmed in Australia.  Since the early 2000s, however, an increasing number of farms in northern Queensland have stocked P. merguiensis and P. esculentus, and some farms in New South Wales produced a small amount of P. japonicus (0.7 tons) with a farm gate value of $28.66 a kilo.  The average price received by farmers in Queensland was $15.44 a kilo.  The increase in cheaper and smaller imported farmed prawns may be having an impact in New South Wales, adversely affecting the markets for the local product, but there’s good evidence that consumers in Queensland prefer to buy the locally farmed product.


Over ten years of selective breeding programs at several hatcheries has resulted in significant increases in production at some farms. 


The diversification into P. merguiensis by some hatcheries combined with improvements and increased capacity at P. monodon hatcheries has allowed most farmers to stock all their ponds, although a shortage of P. monodon postlarvae can sometimes create problems.  Disease issues seem to have been overcome because most farms implement biosecurity measures.


As in previous years, most farms are using smaller ponds, with improved aeration and increased water exchange.


Effluent from shrimp ponds is a major issue in Australia.  As a result, some government scientists and farmers have tested zero-exchange systems with good success.  Many farms have significantly increased the area dedicated to settlement ponds, up to 30% of the total pond area on some farms.  There haven’t been any new farms since the early 2000s, and because of environmental regulations (particularly in Queensland around the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park), the numbers of hectares dedicated to shrimp farming continues to shrink.


Information: Tim Walker, Editor-in-Chief, Austasia Aquaculture, P.O. Box 658, Rosny, Tasmania 7018, Australia (phone 61-3-6245-0064, fax 61-3-6245-0068, email webpage


Source: Austasia Aquaculture. Tim Walker, Editor-in-Chief (  2014 Trade Directory.  Status of Australian Aquaculture in 2011/2012/ Crustacean/Marine Prawns.  No Date, Received March 21, 2014.

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