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April 16, 2015

United States

Virginia—Shipping Live Shrimp and Prawns Without Water


Since it would be challenging and expensive for overseas exporters to ship live shrimp to the USA, the live market presents a promising niche for USA shrimp farmers.


Researchers at Virginia Tech have found that the best way to ship live shrimp is to first anesthetize them in cold water and then pack them on moist wood shavings.


Using ice, water temperatures can be dropped up to 10° C an hour.  Tests of holding temperatures of 10, 12, 15 and 20° C for up to 72 hours found the optimum temperature range was 12 to 15° C.  Under these conditions, 24-hour survival rates typically exceeded 95%.  When shrimp were held 72 hours, moderate to poor survival rates occurred.


Shrimp that were still alive after the waterless shipping simulation could be acclimated to water temperatures as high as 30° C, regardless of the anesthetized temperature.


The optimum conditions for marine shrimp held true for freshwater prawns, with one exception.  Freshwater prawns repeatedly did not tolerate temperatures below 14° C.  Although a holding temperature of 15° C resulted in excellent survival; almost all the prawns died when they experienced temperatures below 14° C.


Information: David D. Kuhn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, Food Science and Technology Department, Center for Applied Health Sciences, Duck Pond Drive, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 USA (phone 1-540-231-8643, email, webpage


Source: The Global Aquaculture Advocate (The Global Magazine for Farmed Seafood).  Editor, Darryl Jory (  Shrimp Out of Water/Shipping Live Shrimp in Waterless Conditions.  George Flick, Jr., Ph.D., Virginia Tech University Distinguished Professor and David D. Kuhn (above).  Volume 18, Issue 2, Page 56, March/April 2015.


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