At Aquaculture America 2003 (Louisville, Kentucky, USA, February 18-23, 2003), Dan Fegan, then with Thailands National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and now regional technical manager of aquaculture for Alltech Biotechnology, Inc., which markets natural feed additives, talked about shrimp farming in Thailand.
During the question and answer session, Shrimp News asked Fegan if anyone in Thailand was following the Belize Aquaculture model of super-intensive, bio-floc shrimp production. He said: Theres a lot of interest in it, but its too complicated. Pokphand has done some work on it, but pretty much the attitude is If it aint broke, dont fix it [implying that the current production system in Thailand was working just fine]. For a number of reasons (cost of energy, unlined ponds, skill levels), Fegan said the Belizian model might not be feasible within the Thai context.
No one knows how many shrimp farms are employing the bio-floc technology. The best examples of the of farms that have implemented the new technology are Belize Aquaculture, Ltd., in Belize, OceanBoy Farms in Florida, USA, and PT Central Pertiwi Bahari in Indonesia.
Central Pertiwi Bahari, a huge, integrated shrimp farmhatchery, feed mill, power plant, laboratory, processing plant, cold storage and container vesselsproduced 35,000 metric tons of shrimp in Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2004. The farm, part of Thailands CP Group, produces two crops a year from around 3,500, half-hectare ponds. In addition, it has nearly 130 experimental, intensive ponds of various sizes, where it tested the bio-floc farming before commercializing it on part of the farm.
The bio-floc trials were carried out in ponds of various sizes, shapes and types (lined and earthen) from mid-2002 to early 2004. Trial results showed that bacteria flocs were not easy to develop in earthen ponds. This could be due to suspended sediments caused by high aeration. In lined ponds, however, bacteria flocs developed. Vannamei can be stocked at very high densities (up to 300 PL/m2) in these ponds.
In small, lined ponds (0.2 ha) production was nearly 30.0 metric tons per hectare, compared with around 20 tons per hectare in larger ponds. This could be because bacteria flocs are much easier to manage in small ponds than in large ones. The record production was 49.7 metric tons per hectare from small (900 m2), densely stocked (280 PL/m2), round, lined ponds.
OceanBoy Farms, Inc.: At the First International Intensive Shrimp Culture Symposium in Belize (November 2004), Michael Mogollon, vice president of production, described OceanBoy Farms, an inland, freshwater, zero-exchange shrimp farm in Florida, USA, that uses bio-flocs in its maturation facilities, larval rearing raceways and growout ponds. Some excerpts:
Broodstock, hatchery, nursery and growout are all recirculating. Most of the water we are using on the farm is four years old, used over and over again for eight crops.
Nurseries are very important to us because we need to have all our juveniles ready to be transferred into the growout ponds by mid-March for the first crop and then again in mid-July for the second crop. We have a growout period from April through November and do mass stocking and mass harvesting. Over the course of one or two months, as we get ready for stocking, the nurseries are used to stockpile juveniles. The purpose of the nurseries is acclimation and holding. We use a lot of aeration, a lot of mixing, and a lot of constant feeding of the animals. The basic philosophy here is that constant feeding and water mixing keeps cannibalism in check. And if you are very rigorous about those two, you can come up with 90% plus survivals after thirty days of nursery culture.
After approximately thirty days in the nurseries, the juveniles are transferred to growout ponds for approximately 120 days, with aeration of approximately 25 horsepower per hectare, mostly paddlewheels, but with some aspirators in the center of the ponds. We inject oxygen into ponds on those nights when oxygen levels fall below critical levels.
We stock at 100 PLs per square meter and get two crops a year, from two, 120-day cycles. Growout survivals are 65%. We shoot for a 41/50 whole animals, although sometimes we let ponds go a little bit longer for clients who want larger shrimp. We get growth rates of around a gram a week.
Our hatchery produces very hearty PLs; theyre very active, vigorous, big for their age and extremely fit.
Weve learned how to manage many water quality problems over the last few years, including high pHs, swings in pH, and nitrite toxicity. We do this by managing the algae and bacteria in the ponds to create a fairly stable environment for the shrimp. As other people have pointed out, when you do this type of culture, youre really taking care of bacteria and the shrimp are along for the ride. Managing algae and bacteria is what we really focus on. When we get them right, the animals grow to their full potential.
We have not had any viral diseases in four years of operation.
In 2005, we are going to build an additional 16 ponds that will give us a total of about 80 hectares.
Question: How much are your construction costs per hectare?
Michael Mogollon: Our construction costs are very high, probably around $120,000 per hectare.
Question: What percent of the farm is taken up by treatment ponds?
Michael Mogollon: About 12%.
Question: How much protein do you use in your feeds?
Michael Mogollon: We start in the nurseries with 55% protein feeds and slowly bring that down to 31% in the growout ponds. We have to work on this because high-protein feeds mean more ammonia and more stress on the animals. We expect to lower the protein level in the feed every year until were down to approximately 22%.
Question: When is your growout period?
Michael Mogollon: We start stocking the growout ponds on March 15, and we harvest the last ponds during the first week of December.
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Heres contact information on most of the people mentioned in this report:
(In Alphabetical Order)
Russell Allen, President, Seafood Systems, Inc., 3450 Meridian Road, Okemos, MI 48863 USA (phone 517-347-5537, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoram Avnimelech, Professor (Emeritus), Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Haifa, 32000 Israel (phone 972-3-7522406, fax 972-3-6131669, email email@example.com
Greg Boardman, Professor, Virginia Tech University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 417 Durham Hall (0246), Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA (phone 540-231-1376, fax 540-231-7916, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Bowen, President, Bowen and Bowen, Ltd., #1 King Street, Box 37, Belize City, Belize (phone 501-227-7031, fax 501-227-7062, email email@example.com
Craig Browdy, Senior Marine Scientist, Marine Resources Research Institute, 217 Ft. Johnson Rd., Charleston SC 29422 USA (phone 843-953-9840, fax 843-953-9820 email firstname.lastname@example.org
David Brune, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Clemson University, 225 McAdams Hall, Box 340357, Clemson, South Carolina, 29634 USA (phone 864-656-4068, fax 864-656-0338, email email@example.com
, webpage http://www.clemson.edu/agbioeng/pages/faculty/brune.htm
George Chamberlain, Ph.D., President, Global Aquaculture Alliance, 5661 Telegraph Road, Suite 3A, St. Louis, MO 63129 USA (phone 314-293-5500, fax 314-293-5525, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage www.gaalliance.org
Lytha Conquest, Ph.D, The Oceanic Institute, Aquatic Feeds and Nutrition Department, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-7951, fax 808-259-5971, email email@example.com
, webpage www.oceanicinstitute.org
Durwood Dugger, President, BioCepts International, Inc., 947 Sandpiper Lane, Vero Beach FL 32963 USA (phone 772-332-1046, fax 772-234-8966, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage http://www.biocepts.com
Daniel F. Fegan, Regional Technical Manager of Aquaculture, Alltech Biotechnology Corp., Ltd., 209/1 CMIC Tower B, 17th Floor, Sukhumvit 21 Road (Asoke), Khlongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand (phone +66-2-260-0888, fax +66-2-260-0886, email email@example.com
, webpage http://www.alltech.com
Kevin Healey, Research and Dveleopment Manager, International Animal Health Products, 18 Healey Circuit, Huntingwood NSW 2148, Australia (phone 61-2-9672-7944, fax 61-2-9672-7988, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage www.iahp.com.au
Stephen Hopkins, Owner, Rain Garden Ornamentals, 49-041 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744 USA (phone 808-294-3973, email email@example.com
, webpage http://www.raingarden.us
Robins McIntosh, Senior Vice President, Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company, C.P. Tower, 27th Floor, 313 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand (phone 662-625-8250, fax 662-638-2254, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Roderick McNeil, Ph.D., Meridian Aquatic Technology, LLC, 303 Kerr Dam Road, Polson, MT USA 59860 (phone 406-883-6920, fax 406-883-6922, email email@example.com
, webpage www.aquamats.com
Michael Mogollon, Vice President of Production, OceanBoy Farms, Inc., 2954 Airglades Boulevard, Clewiston, FL 33440 USA (phone 863-599-0603, fax 863-805-0074, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage http://www.oceanboyfarms.com/index.php
Shaun Moss, Ph.D., Director, Shrimp Department, The Oceanic Institute, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-3310, fax 808-259-9762, email email@example.com
, webpage www.oceanicinstitute.org
John Ogle, Aquaculture Specialist, Research Associate, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 7000, Ocean Springs, MS 39564 USA (phone 228-872-4675, fax 228-872-4204, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage http://www.ims.usm.edu
Anthony Ostrowski, Ph.D., Director of the United States Marine Shrimp Farming Program, The Oceanic Institute, 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo, HI 96795 USA (phone 808-259-3109, fax 808-259-3121, email email@example.com
, webpage www.oceanicinstitute.org
Claudio Paredes, Aquaculture Business Development Manager, Agribrands Purina Venezuela, Av. Principal de Los Ruices, Edif. Stemo, Piso 6, Los Ruices, Caracas, Venezuela (phone 58-212-2399111, fax 58-212-2352002, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage www.agribrands.com
Harvey Persyn, President, Tropical Mariculture Technology, Inc., P.O. Box 959, Floral City, FL 34436 USA (phone 352-860-1985, fax 352-860-1785, email email@example.com
Tzachi Samocha, Ph.D., Professor, Regents Fellow, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Shrimp Mariculture Research Facility, 4301 Waldron Road, Corpus Christi, TX 78418 USA (phone 361-937-2268, fax 361-937-6470, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage http://ccag.tamu.edu/FlourBluff/flour.htm
Steven Serfling, Steve died in February 2007.
Nyan Taw, Ph.D., Sr. Vice President for Aquaculture and R&D, PT Dipasena Citra Darmaja (DCD group), Exim Melati Building, 8th Floor Jalan, M.H. Thamrin Kav., 8-9 Jakarta 10230, Indonesia (phone 62-21-390-7307, fax 62-21-390-7381, email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Van Wyk, Research Associate, Southwest Virginia Aquaculture Research and Extension Center, 424 West Main Street, Saltville, VA 24370 USA (phone 276-496-4999, fax 276-496-4974, email email@example.com
, webpage http://arecs.vaes.vt.edu/arec.cfm?webname=saltville
Marc Verdegem, Associate Professor, Aquaculture and Fisheries Group, Department of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands (phone 00-31-317-484584, fax 00-31-317-483937, email, firstname.lastname@example.org
, webpage http://www.afi.wur.nl/uk
Dallas Weaver, Ph.D., Consultant, Scientific Hatcheries, 8152 Evelyn Circle, Huntington Beach, CA 92646 (phone 714-960-4171, cell 714-614-3925 emial email@example.com
, webpage www.scientifichatcheries.com
The Shrimp List
Some of the information in this report was gleaned from the Shrimp List, a free, email-based, unmoderated, mailing list for shrimp farmers that distributes information posted by one member of the list to all the other members of the list. Most postings deal with the scientific aspects of shrimp farming and can get quite technical. Anyone can use the list to ask and answer questions, to keep participants up to date on a conference, or to pass industry news around. You dont have to participate in the discussion. Your email address is not exposed. You can just sit back and read the messages that interest you.
The easiest way to get on the Shrimp List is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To post a message to the list, send your email to email@example.com, and to unsubscribe, send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, October 1, 2006.