Shrimp will become the “chicken of the sea” as development of the shrimp farming industry follows the path of the chicken industry. Commercial shrimp farming is where the chicken industry was in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was when chicken farming began to saturate the market, and the production cost for many commercial farms started to exceed farm gate value, with disease becoming a greater problem. Thus, many commercial farms failed. However, farms that incorporated new technology through intensification, biosecurity programs, and the development of higher quality and lower cost feeds—resulting in increased predictability of production, intensification of production levels, and decreased production cost—flourished. This resulted in a change from chicken being more expensive than beef and a luxury food to its being a common source of high-quality protein for human consumption that was cheaper than beef.
Though the production of shrimp from commercial farming has a farm gate value of billions of dollars per year, the world’s shrimp farming industry is predicted to become as large as the present chicken farming industry. This will be accomplished by
- Developing production levels (more than 300 metric tons per hectare of water per year),
- Incorporating a successful biosecurity program, and
- Utilizing lower-cost, higher-quality feeds.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research Mariculture Laboratory at Port Aransas
Development and demonstration of new technology accomplished at the Texas AgriLife Research Laboratory at Port Aransas is summarized here:
- Production of shrimp (per hectare of water per year) using raceways to levels greater than 300 metric tons per year, with growth rates of 1.1–2.3 grams per week, with final harvest size 15–29 grams per shrimp, survival 85%–95%, and feed conversion ratios between 1.1 and 1.5.
- Production of shrimp (per hectare of water per crop) using intensive ponds to levels greater than 40 metric tons per hectare per year in the presence of disease (class “I” pathogens such as TSV, IHHN, NHP, WSV) with greater than 85% survival, as compared to production of less than 2 metric tons per hectare per year using semiintensive ponds on the same farm.
- Maintenance of disease-free status at the AgriLife Research Laboratory at Port Aransas for the last decade using an improved biosecurity program.
- Development of completely new lower-cost feeds and production of more than 300 metric tons per year, with growth rates from 1.1 to 2.3 grams per week, final harvest size 15–29 grams per shrimp, survival 85%–95%, and feed conversion ratios between 1.1 and 1.5.
Significance of New Technology
This technology allows commercial shrimp farming to go to the next level with
- Increased production levels (greater than 300 metric tons per hectare per year)
- Increased predictability of production with increased survival year round (production of every month per year instead of seasonal)
- Decreased feed cost (due to lower-cost higher-quality feed and lower feed conversion ratios)
- Increase growth rate (up to 2.0 gram per week)
This resulted in a significant decrease in production cost and increase in profit, with an estimated internal rate of return of greater than 25% for temperate countries such as the United States, European countries, People’s Republic of China, and Japan.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Mariculture Laboratory at Port Aransas is the largest shrimp research laboratory in the world, with more than 900 tanks and 13 recirculating systems. This Laboratory has an outstanding reputation, and researchers will continue to improve the technology, ensuring that corporate partners associated with Texas A&M AgriLife Research will have cutting-edge technology available to them.
Development of Economy-of-Size Super-Intensive Commercial Shrimp Farm
A commercial economy-of-size shrimp farm will produce at least 2,000 metric tons of shrimp per year with an investment of $9,000,000. This will provide the potential of a minimum of 25% internal rate of return, with an expected 33% internal rate of return.
0 to 2 months: Develop the business plan
3 to 4 months: Develop blueline engineering plans for a commercial farm
5 to 40 months: Complete the construction of the farm
Production will commence at the beginning of month 14 to 18, with a positive cash flow between months 24 and 30.
Contact: Addison Lawrence
1300 Port St.
Port Aransas, TX 78373