“American shrimp farming today is being driven by new technology. However, the scale is such that market demand cannot be met.”
The history of shrimp farming in the United States is both brief and volatile. Pacific white shrimp (PanaeusL vannamei) are widely accepted as the most feasible species for large-scale shrimp production in the United States. Shrimp farming in the U.S. became commercially achievable in the early 1980s with increasing production levels until the early 2000′s. The first technology that allowed widespread farming in the U.S. was a single phase semi-intensive pond model, in which post-larvae obtained from the hatchery are directly stocked in the pond. Using this process production of 5-10 MT/ha/crop could be achieved. However, this system could only produce one crop per year because of climatic conditions, making it not economically competitive with tropical areas of the world producing multiple crops each year. This has resulted in a rapid decline in shrimp farm production in the U.S. since the early 2000′s.
“Today, shrimp imports represent approximately ~95% of shrimp consumed by Americans.”
There is no effective monitoring of the imported product that is often grown with antibiotics and harvested under conditions that Americans would find reprehensible. Thus, product security is an issue. In addition, shrimp demand from countries that are moving up the economic scale are putting pressure on U.S. prices. Things have to change. To this end, several small-scale operations exemplified by Sky8 Shrimp Farm, RDM Aquaculture and Big Barn Shrimp Farm have been setup. They are reacting to the decreased wild stock availabilities from traditional American fisheries and reduced domestic production by farms using traditional pond raising methods. However, scalability is an issue where shrimp are raised inland using water from salt water aquifers in ponds (Odom’s Shrimp), in small scale tanks (Sky8 Shrimp Farms and RDM Aquaculture) or in single level raceways as exemplified by Marvesta Shrimp Farms, Natural Shrimp , and American Mariculture.
American aquaculture is at a crossroads, change or surrender the market. Sponsored academic research, as well as the industry, recognized the demands >10 years ago. The breakthroughs came rapidly when Dr. Addison Lawrence at the Texas A&M University System Mariculture Research Center showed shrimp could be grown in shallow water. This meant raceways could be stacked, which made possible levels of production previously unattainable per square meter of floor space (United States Patent 8,336,498) in enclosed facilities independent of the climate and geography.
Royal Caridea has developed new super intensive multi-phasic production technology (SIRSFT) and procedures for increased shrimp production in order to drive shrimp production per unit area to a maximum. This is accomplished by the engineering a new approach and integration of all components into a modular system, i.e., SIRSFT system. The end result is a scalable system that can be constructed and operated close to markets anywhere in America. Production operates synchronously and can be modified to meet market demand for live, fresh dead and frozen shrimp of unmatched quality.
With its effective feed to protein conversion rates, aquaculture’s main appeal is its potential to help feed the growing global population in an era of extreme land, fresh water, and nutrient constraints. The long-term success and economic viability of this technology depends on investing in innovation and solutions aimed at tackling the triple sustainability challenge of disease, waste and feed in parallel with its current explosive global expansion. There is an obvious and growing need to farm shrimp in a responsible, sustainable, traceable, and low environmental impact manner which can enhance biosecurity (pathogen control), and help protect the environment, whilst producing shrimp in a cost efficient manner (Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Royal Caridea using SIRSFT has engineered such a system.