Shrimp Farming: The Rise of Shrimp Farming

Shrimp farming became important worldwide, reaching a level with extractive fishing production that has been stagnating due to the high costs of fishing operations. The consumption of shrimp has expanded with the demand of the industrialized countries, due to its high-income elasticity. This has led to the development of shrimp farming to facilitate its supply.

Commercial marine shrimp farming began in the 1970s and production grew steeply, particularly to match the market demands of Western Europe. The total global production of farmed shrimps reached more than 2.1 million tonnes by 1991 with a value reaching nearly $9 billion dollars.. About 30% is produced in Asia, most notably China and Indonesia.

Shrimp Farming

Characteristics of Shrimp Farming

Shrimp are invertebrate animals belonging to the group of crustaceans, they grow by means of successive molts throughout their life cycle. They present metamorphosis during their first phase of life called the larval phase. There are two basic varieties of shrimp on the world market today, cold water and tropical water.

As farmed shrimp grow naturally in marine environments of tropical waters, shrimp farms are located along tropical and subtropical coasts. Usually at distances that allow the water to be pump from the sea or the estuaries to the facilities with ease.

The selection of the site where to locate the farm is one of the two main management considerations in this industry. The other being the method of maximizing the efficiency of the breeding, to bring juvenile shrimp to market sizes.


The survival and development of shrimp in captivity also depend on the type and amount of food that is supply. Shrimp is an omnivorous organism, varying its diet from plankton to concentrated feed. The latter is a balanced one that has proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorus and amino acids.

Daily, the parameters of water, temperature, and oxygen are fed and taken, which allow us to know how the animals are evolving. After 28 or 30 days of planting a growth, control is started weekly to make periodic adjustments to the feed.

In addition, the food is regulated so that the organic level in the pools is not damaging, and has cost control. Since it is the input of greater economic preponderance in the crop.

Pool/Pond Care

Maintaining favorable water quality is an essential aspect of shrimp aquaculture. Shrimp are particularly sensitive to the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water. In order to maintain favorable concentrations of dissolved oxygen, intensive culture ponds should be washed and drained frequently.

Freshwater and seawater should be continuously introduced into the intensively cultivated ponds, and the dirty water should be removed. Intensive systems may need water exchange rates of between ten and fifty-five percent per day of their volume. Just to keep the oxygen concentration above the critical level.

Shrimp Culture Process

The shrimp are raised in large ponds, which are usually at least one meter deep. And the dams are built by hand or using excavation machinery. The site is usually located on an estuary or near the coast, to ensure a nearby source of brackish or salty water. A shrimp pond can be placed in a natural flood lagoon.

A rice-growing area in flooded plots or other appropriate agricultural lands. In coastal salt flats or excavated sites after artificially cutting a mangrove. Regarding its biological characteristics, shrimp farming is carried out in two major processes: seed production and fattening.

The fattening process comprises the shrimp growth until reaching the commercial size that is from 10 to 20 grams, usually from 12 to 14 grams. This size is reached in 95 to 120 days from sowing. The cycle can be done one to three times a year, depending on weather conditions.

The larval phase lasts 20 to 22 days and starts after the eggs were previously fertilized and released by the female, hatch and leave the nauplii. This stadium has 5 sub-estates, lasts approximately two days, and feeds on the reserves it had in the egg. Then it is transformed into zoea that has three sub-estates.

This lasts between four and five days, during which the animal is exclusively phytophagous, that is, it consumes basically microalgae.


The farms of the Caribbean Coast harvest on average between 98 and 120 days, until when the shrimp weighs between 12 and 17 grams. The product is taking alive to the preprocessing or beneficiation plant where it is separate from any element other than shrimp.

This is how it is immediately loaded into ice vats, which are transport to the processing plants. This is where it is classified and selected according to its size and quality. The shrimp is pack whole or without the head, according to the preferences of its buyers.

The Japanese prefer peeled, deveined and decapitated shrimp. While Europeans import whole and unpeeled shrimp; and Americans ask for decapitated and unpeeled shrimp. The freezing is done at 45 degrees C below zero guaranteeing a total freshness, which can last about two years.


The shrimp farming industry has been booming in recent decades. Shrimp have been farmed for centuries, but it was only recently that they became a commercialized product. They are considered to be one of the most popular seafood items in the world and many people enjoy them frequently. There is no denying that this booming industry brings with it some problems as well, not least of which being how harmful chemicals released by shrimp farms can pose a threat to marine life and other sea creatures living there permanently or migrating through on their way to warmer waters during winter months. Hopefully, you found this guide helpful! Good luck implementing these tips into your business’ marketing strategy!

As a reference: Wikipedia

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