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United States

Florida—American Mariculture and Hurricane Irma

 

American Mariculture, Inc., operates an indoor shrimp farm on 17-mile-long Pine Island in Florida.  Its subsidiary, American Penaeid, produces broodstock at the same location.  Robin Pearl, owner and manager, submitted this report on the effect of Hurricane Irma on his facilities, which were almost in the direct path of the hurricane:

 

I am getting a huge number of inquiries and sympathy calls and figured it would be easier if I let you know how we weathered the storm so you can let everyone know.

 

Hurricane Irma was projected to have a direct hit on our shrimp farm, hatchery, processing plant, and broodstock multiplication center on the Southwest coast of Florida.

 

I am pleased to report that all our personnel are safe and well.  For the first time in four years, we had to completely abandon our facilities and take shelter.  No one remained on the farm, and all we could do was hope that our shrimp and systems would weather the storm.

 

Fortunately, the storm made a last minute turn to the east that diminished its strength and as a result did not cause significant damage.  Equally important, the forecasted 10-to-15-foot flood surge never materialized.

 

Our team implemented our hurricane plan late last week, and our generators and backup protocols performed very well.

 

Less than twelve hours after the passing of the hurricane, our crew was back on site to start clearing all the debris and resume normal operations.

 

We plan on resuming the shipment of “Sun Shrimp”, our consumer brand, later this week to Costco, Disney and many of our other great customers.

 

Our genetic program and breeder shrimp for this upcoming season were not affected.  We will be able to meet all our Asian client’s needs for American Penaeid broodstock.

 

We feel extremely fortunate and realize that if the storm had taken its projected path that we too would be facing the difficulties experienced by farms and hatcheries in the Florida Keys and Texas.

 

We are very grateful for everyone’s support and assistance and wish all the victims of Irma and Harvey speedy recoveries.  We stand ready to help where we can.

 

Information: Robin Pearl, American Penaeid, Inc., 9703 Stringfellow Road, St. James City, Florida 33956, USA (Phone 239-260-4720, Fax 800-211-9404, Email info@penaeid.com, Webpage http://penaeid.com).

 

Source: Robin Pearl.  Email to Shrimp News International.  Subject: AMI/API Hurricane Update.  September 11, 2017.

 

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