Agriculture and Environment: Shrimp

Better Management Practices: Use Land Efficiently

Many producers stock large ponds with very small animals. While the shrimp eventually grow and use the entire space, this is an inefficient use of resources. Initial grow-out ponds or raceways allow farmers to produce the same total production on less land and with lower capital investment costs.
Raceways can replace 25-45% of the need of grow-out ponds. Put another way, this approach allows for at least one additional crop per year on the same amount of land.

Survival rates higher in smaller ponds
Furthermore, survival rates in the smaller ponds appear to be higher. All in all this is a simple strategy that could help to minimise the expansion and impact of ponds while maximising the return on investment.

Another way to reduce the impact on the surface area is to use deeper ponds. In Latin America, pond water depth is 0.85-1.2 metres. In Thailand, ponds are 1.5-2 metres deep.

Using "Aquamats"
The use of Aquamats (material suspended vertically from wire or ropes in the ponds) and other devices to create surface areas for shrimp to colonise within the water column allows for higher carrying capacity. In addition, if well managed the water column will produce an increasing proportion of the shrimp feed.

Credits

Extracts from "World Agriculture & Environment" by Jason Clay - buy the book online from Island Press

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