Shrimp farming is an aquaculture business existing in a marine or fresh water environment, producing shrimps or prawn) for human consumption. They are small aquatic animals belonging to the sub-phylum of Crustaceans, which include other marine animals like Crabs, Lobsters and Crayfish.
The Prawns and Shrimps are common names and scientific term, hence the Shrimps and Prawns are often used interchangeably as there is really no universally agreed distinction between them. Shrimps and prawns are found in both brackish and freshwater bodies and are found in almost all the marine bodies of the world.
Shrimps are typically grown in brackish water. Swimming pools and other containers with significant depth are all suitable vessels for raising freshwater shrimp, but they do not yield the best results. For the production of large quantities of healthy crustaceans, a pond is more suitable.
A female shrimp lays thousands to millions of eggs, which hatch after about a day. The hatched shrimp are called ‘Nauplii’, and they are fed algae and brine shrimp nauplii. The nauplii develop into young shrimps after about 12 days.
The nauplii can be kept in nurseries before being transferred to the pond or can be kept in an acclimation tank to prepare them for transfer in grow-out ponds, such transfer usually occurs around the 25th day. The young shrimp stays in the pond till maturity which spans for about three to six months after hatching, after which they are harvested by either draining the pond or by the use of nets.
TYPES OF SHRIMPS FOR SHRIMP FARMING
*CHERRY SHRIMPS: It is a freshwater shrimp from Taiwan, which is commonly kept in aquariums. The natural color of the shrimp is green-brown. There is a wide range of colors such as red, yellow, orange, green, blue, violet, black, etc.
*WHITE LEG SHRIMPS: It is also known as Pacific white shrimps or king prawns, these are the specie of prawns of the eastern Pacific Ocean commonly caught or farmed for food.
BENEFITS OF SHRIMPS TO HUMAN
Serves as a form of food supplements: Because of its high protein and vitamin content, Shrimps are usually used in the production of food supplements.
Source of food: They are mostly cultivated and harvested as a source of food and recipe for many delicacies in many places around the world.
Serving as source of animal feed: The back and other by-products of shrimps are processed and used in the production of animal feeds.
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METHODS OF SHRIMP FARMING OF IDEAS FOR FARM RAISED SHRIMP
- Traditional or Extensive Shrimp farming method
- Mini Intensive Shrimp Farming Method
- Intensive Shrimp Farming Method
TRADITIONAL OR EXTENSIVE SHRIMP FARMING METHOD: This method the simplest Shrimp aquaculture approach where Shrimps are farmed with minimum intervention. This farm is or should be situated in coastal or mangrove areas and the seed stock for production is acquired from the wild, as a result, the supply is season dependent. The average stocking density is usually low. The ponds are often irregular in shape and size and fall between 3-20 hectares. In this method, the use of a pump is not employed and water exchange is left for tidal action.
MINI INTENSIVE SHRIMP FARMING METHOD: This farming method has an improvement over the traditional approach. It is the introduction of a systematic pond configuration. The ponds are generally rectangular in shape and Each pond has separate inlet and outlet gates to facilitate water exchange, pond preparation, and harvesting. Also an extension is made from inlet to outlet and also constructed to facilitate drainage of water and collection of Shrimp during harvest.
Also provision of ditch which also serves as a refuge for the Shrimps during sunny days. This method involves higher stocking rates, use of supplementary feed, and the implementation of a regular water management scheme. Current practices vary from country to country.
The typical rate of stocking fry for semi-intensive culture operation varies from 20,000 to 50,000 fry per hectare. Supplementary feed is given daily in addition to the existing natural food produced through the application of fertilizers.
INTENSIVE SHRIMP FARMING METHOD: This farming method is the most financially rewarding method of Shrimp farming as it brings forth more yield and more return on investment. The aim of the intensive Shrimp farming is to hasten the Shrimp growing cycle, to produce Shrimps of uniform size, and also to increase yield per hectare. In this farming system, conditions must be met to achieve the aforementioned goals.
A farming technology called Galveston or “clear water” hatchery employs intensive control to breed shrimp on the industrial scale. Large-scale hatcheries usually augment the young shrimp diet of algae with commercial feed. They use big tanks that could hold up to 30 tons.
As conditions are highly met, it is possible to produce seed stock all year round and to stock shrimp at higher densities. As it is possible to stock more shrimp per unit area, the pond used could be smaller. In this setup, aeration is needed to keep the oxygen supply at the desired level to avoid a situation whereby shrimps die from lack of oxygen. High water exchange is also necessary for getting rid of wastes materials from the water. Lastly, there is a need for round-the-clock monitoring. Survival rates and yield are higher for this kind of farming. So, therefore, the production cost is also higher.
Shrimp farming in the world is a highly lucrative business opportunity to take advantage of. However, With Nigeria not producing far lesser than its production capacity and the fact that artificial shrimp farming has not been exploited, this gives investors a huge opportunity to venture into it, as it is the most lucrative seafood farming business in the world.
HOW TO START A PROFITABLE SHRIMP FARM
- Selection of pond site
- Stocking of Shrimps
- Feed the Shrimps
- Harvest the shrimps
- Market the Shrimps.
Selection of pond site: A location should be selected to dig a pond specifically for raising freshwater shrimps. Although most farmers would dig a pond similar to a pond used for raising channel catfish. Large fish tanks, water tanks and swimming pools can also be used. However, a natural pond yields the best shrimp production for commercial farming. A good flow of freshwater is necessary for the shrimps. It is also important to supply them with enough oxygen.
Stocking of shrimps: Before stocking the juvenile shrimps, the pond should be checked for insects and larva that might eat the young shrimps. Therefore, an organic method should be used for removing these insects and larva. Making sure there aren’t any other types of fishes in the water, especially bass, green sunfish, and bluegills, before stocking the water with shrimps.
If there are fishes in the pond, get rid of them before stocking juvenile shrimp. These kinds of fish are predators for the shrimp. The water in which the juvenile shrimps were transported in should be replaced slowly with the water from the pond to avoid a sudden change in conditions killing the shrimps.
Feeding: Feeding is an essential part of Shrimp farming, It is a must for the shrimp to ensure that the Shrimps attain the desired harvesting weight within a specific period of time. It is also part of the major cost incurred in the shrimp farming business. The shrimps feeding pattern is dependent on the stage of growth of the shrimp and the farming system being used.
At the early stage of growth, shrimps can feed on natural food found in the pond, as such fertilization of the pond to initiate the build-up of organic materials such as algae and phytoplankton is important. As the Shrimps mature, supplementary feeding is required because their level of food consumption grows and natural food in their habitat becomes insufficient.
Common supplements include dry pelleted feed, rice bran, chopped toad and frogs, and household leftovers. The supplementary feed can be administered by the use of feeding trays, automatic machine feeders, or by broadcasting the feed.
Harvesting: This is carried out in ideal situations when it becomes cooler, it is usually done in the month of October which limits the growth period of the shrimp. Mature shrimps can be culled from the pond prior to this time, leaving smaller ones to be harvested, or all the shrimps can be harvested at the same time.
The shrimps can either be harvested with the use of nets or they can be harvested by draining the pool. Harvesting is best done in the cool hours of the day, this is to prevent the sun from increasing the temperature and decreasing the volume of the water and the oxygen levels in the water which can kill the Shrimps and lose the business revenue.