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July 16, 2015


Viet Uc’s Super-Intensive Shrimp Farm


Several shrimp farms in Central and Southern Vietnam have successfully produced 60 to 80 metric tons of shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) per hectare per crop in plastic-lined ponds.  Ponds are usually 3,000 to 3,500 square meters and about 2 meters deep.  Stocking densities range from 400 to 900 postlarvae per square meter, and the growout period is from 3.5 to 4.0 months.  The huge feed load, stocking densities and shrimp wastes require a massive investment in long-arm paddle wheels and bottom air diffusers.  The average aeration is about 32 horsepower (hp) per pond or 100 hp per hectare.  Two hours after every feeding, wastes and uneaten feeds are siphoned out via a central drain and replaced with clean water.  To control the increasing biomass, partial harvest start late in the second month of growout.


The Viet Uc Group’s first super-intensive facility, located in Vinh Thinh, Bac Lieu Province, is just 10 kilometers from the company’s massive hatchery complex in Nha Mat, which produces 15 billion of postlarvae annually, making it the largest producer of PLs in Vietnam.  Five production units were used for the its first trial.  Each unit consisted of eighteen 500-square-meter ponds.  Of these 14 were used as production ponds.  The remaining 4 ponds were for water treatment and storage.  All ponds were covered and equipped with aerators.  Water temperatures were held to below 31°C during the hot season and daily fluctuations were not allowed to exceed 1.5°C.  Uneaten feed and shrimp wastes were siphoned out and collected in the drainage system nearby.  The total investment for each unit was about $350,000.




Viet Uc’s first harvest, from 70 production ponds, was huge success.  Stocking densities were between 200 and 500 PLs per square meter.  Harvest sizes ranged from 40 to 60-count per kilo after 78 to 108 days of growout.  Interestingly, at harvest, the size difference between animals stocked at 200 PLs per square meter and 500 per square meter was not much, 40 to 50 and 50 to 60 count, respectively.  Production ranged from 2 to 4 metric tons per pond or 40 to 80 tons per hectare per crop.  Visual assessment showed that water quality in the production ponds was very good, despite the apparent signs of eutrophication.  Because the harvested shrimp were better and cleaner than other locally produced shrimp, they received a higher price from Vietnam’s largest shrimp processing and exporting company.


These super-intensive systems for farming Penaeus vannamei are certainly far beyond the investment capacity of most medium or small-scale shrimp farmers in Vietnam; however, they help demonstrate that adequate investment and better management can result in better products, higher prices and, more important, a good image for Vietnam’s shrimp products.


Information: Dr. Tung Hoang, Associate Professor, Dean, School of Biotechnology, International University VNUHCM, Vietnam (email, phone +84.946820199)


Source: Email to Shrimp News International.  Subject: Vietnam Shrimp Farming: In the Quest for Better Products.  Dr. Tung Hoang.  Photos by Dr. Tung Hoang.  July 16, 2015.

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