Print This Page


October 26, 2014

United States

Texas—Primo Broodstock, Neil Gervais



Neil Gervais (, Technical Manager at Texas Primo Broodstock in Texas, reports on The Shrimp List:


Hello Group:


I have been involved in shrimp farming for over 30 years, and for 15 of those years, I worked on Penaeus vannamei whitespot tolerance in Ecuador.  I think that many of you know me as the Technical Advisor on Aqua Feeds at Zeigler Bros., in Gardners, Pennsylvania, USA, where I worked until September 1, 2014.  Others of you may know me from the work I did with John Birkett to find the correct path to whitespot tolerance in Ecuador.


In addition, all of you should become familiar with the amazing work of Onelab and Franklin Perez on genetic selection in Ecuador.  In the last five years, Franklin used mass and family selection, along with PCR micro-satellite identification, to greatly diversify and improve the population of P. vannamei in Ecuador.  The animals he developed are whitespot resistant and can be grown in non-biosecure ponds.


I currently work with my very courageous cousin, Ken Gervais, at Primo Broodstock in Texas.  I can say that the whitespot tolerant animal that was developed by Matt Briggs at Seaquest (Ecuador), Eduardo Diaz at Macrobio (Ecuador) and Luis Faria at Farallon (Panama) and us over a decade ago is the reason that Ecuador has such stellar production today, without any biosecurity or temperature issues.  The postlarvae from all of those programs is not susceptible to whitespot down to 20ºC.


I want to say that people like John Birkett should be listened to.  In Ecuador, he is directly responsible for 14,000 hectares of the most productive shrimp farms in the world, and over the last ten years, those farms have seen significant improvement in production and profitability.  There are some producers/consultants that are commenting on this list that have not been successful, but are trying to tell everyone how best to make money in this very difficult business.  We were actually challenged recently by a frequent blogger with issues about our seriousness in this business.  Primo is directly responsible for the production of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shrimp.   I am sure that the broodstock that we’ve developed will be the paradigm for the future.  It will help all the farms in the world return to their previous productivity with real sustainability.  With our client in Mexico, GENITEC, which has hatcheries and farms, Primo has been responsible for stocking 10,000 hectares (less than 10% of total hectares in Mexico) in 2014.   Those ponds have been very successful, profitable and shown that there is a very clear genetic solution to whitespot and early mortality syndrome (EMS).  Primo only uses pure whitespot tolerant specific pathogen resistant stock (SPR) that has been selected heavily for Vibrio tolerance.  Our selection has been shown to be superior to any other selection for EMS


In 2014, GENITEC used Primo broodstock to produce two billion PLs and stock 4,000 hectares of ponds in Sonora.  We signed an exclusive agreement with them in September 2014 for the next two years.  They are the only farm in Mexico that has the genetic diversity of our broodstock.  Right now, they are harvesting up to 35-gram shrimp with 70-80% survivals form semi-intensive and intensive ponds.  The results will be available from our web site and will be published in the trade journals.  If anybody needs to contact me or our clients please call me directly.  I will be encouraging all the producers that are working with our broodstock to publish their results in the next few weeks.


Primo has had issues with some of our exports—nothing regarding quality, quantity or packing, but regarding sanctions that the USA Government has applied to the countries of some of our clients.  We have our permits in order for most shrimp producing counties and have the very best experts working with us to resolve complications in the remaining countries.


Information: Neil Gervais, Texas Primo Broodstock, Inc., 6737 FM 362, Brookshire, Texas 77423, USA (phone 1-408-369-0600, email and, webpage



Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Some Basic Concepts.  Neil Gervais.  October 24, 2014.

Print This Page