Thailand shrimp farming from boom to bust, to a sustainable future

					                                                     July | August 2010
Feature title: Thailand shrimp farming from boom to bust, to a sustainable future

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       The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry
 F: Shrimp farming                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       F: Shrimp farming

                                                                                                                                                          Table 1: Thai exports of frozen and processed shrimp, 2009                                                         ties. Emphasis has also been placed on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             proper farm management practices to
                                                                                                                                                                                          (Value in million/£UK)                Growth rate %        Proportion %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             reduce the risk of polluting emissions
                                                                                                                                                       No.      Country                      2008               2009                2009                 2009                and which were suited to the type of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             specie of shrimp cultured. Research in
                                                                                                                                                          1     USA                         846.644             913.365                  7.88                48.70           low polluting and cost effective feeds has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             also led to benefits for both the environ-
                                                                                                                                                          2     Japan                       328.386             386.374                 17.66                20.60
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ment as well as farmer.
                                                                                                                                                          3     Canada                      100.647             104.281                  3.61                  5.56
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Effort to eradicate diseases has largely
                                                                                                                                                          4     Germany                       49.581              59.582                20.17                  3.18          focused on those diseases which have
                                                                                                                                                          5     United Kingdom                56.082              70.665                26.00                  3.77          a direct impact due to losses through
                                                                                                                                                          6     South Korea                   48.781              40.728               -16.51                  2.17          mortality.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Until recently, there has been little
                                                                                                                                                          7     Australia                     36.285              46.552                28.30                  2.48
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             attention paid to non-fatal diseases
                                                                                                                                                          8     Belgium                       22.033              32.654                48.21                  1.74
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             although the economic costs are high.
                                                                                                                                                          9     China                         13.861              15.398                11.09                  0.82          These are diseases that affect productiv-
                                                                                                                                                        10      The Netherlands                 12.45              18.52                48.75                  0.99          ity by reducing growth rates or affecting
                                                                                                                                                              Total (10 countries)         1,514.75          1,688.118                  11.45                90.02           the quality and value of the shrimp
                                                                                                                                                                            Others          163.301                187.2                14.63                  9.98
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             produced and can impact profitability
                                                                                                                                                                            TOTAL         1,678.051          1,875.318                  11.76              100.00
                                                                                                                                    by Daphne Tan                                                                                                                                Health programs have since changed

Thailand shrimp farming
                                                                                                                                                      Source : Information and Communication Technology Center with Cooperation of The Customs                               to include also non-lethal diseases and
                                                                                                                                                      Deparment Information Center, Thai Frozen Foods Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             their syndromes. The use of specific
                                                                                                                                                      Note : Preliminary Data
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             pathogen-free (SPF) and specific patho-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             gen-resistant (SPR) stocks associated

from boom to bust, to a sustainable future                                                                                                          knowledge on standards, insufficient
                                                                                                                                                    technical assistance program, assess to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Coupled with declining prices of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                shrimp in global markets, there has been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             with the popular P vannamei species has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             enabled multi-cropping and high-stocking
                                                                                                                                                    credit for investment, lack of information                  a shift away from such highly intensive                      densities, capable of producing up to
                                                                                                                                                    on market and declining market price of                     pond systems to semi-intensive systems                       20-30 tonnes per hectare per crop.

                                                                                                                                                    shrimp are the major issues to deal with                    across many parts of Thailand. With strict                       The control of broodstock to ensure
           mong intensively cultivat-             ture species, mainly black tiger shrimp or P.   Phraya Delta regions as well as coastal areas     to promote adoption of standards for                        international rules governing the quality                    that only true SPF species are supplied,
           ed aquatic species, shrimp             monodon in the early 1970s.                     in 1990.                                          responsible shrimp farming among the                        of exported shrimp, particularly with                        as opposed to the use of ‘home grown’
           has one of the highest                    Significant yield increases were seen           The second bust period for the industry        small-scale shrimp farmers.                                 regards to acceptable levels of chemicals                    F1 broodstock, has also led to lower
           values and is the most                 from these early systems which utilised         in 1996 led to a sharp drop in produc-                                                                        residues and antibiotics, this has encour-                   levels of mortality, and greater success
important fishery commodity traded.               small ponds enclosures and the introduc-        tion, leaving in its wake mounting debts          Research into                                               aged the industry to move along in the                       for the Thai shrimp industry.
                                                  tion of hatchery-raised fry, supplementary      for farmers and a degraded environment            shrimp farming                                              right direction.
    In 2008, the FAO estimated that world         feeding and limited mechanical water man-       particularly, the destruction of mangrove            Research on the shrimp farming indus-
production of shrimp under aquaculture            agement. This lifted the profile of shrimp      swamps.                                           try has revealed that where methods are                     Regulating farming
and capture was about six million tonnes.         farming and led to its ‘boom years’ in the         Since then, in the early millennia,Thailand    highly intensive, production becomes                        practices
Of this, an estimated 60 percent was traded,      decade starting from the late 1980s.            has moved from P. monodon to P. vannamei,         susceptible to internal operational prob-                      To address these issues, the sector                          more   inFormation:

bringing in over US$11 billion in export             With the influx of foreign direct invest-    or the Pacific white shrimp to counter the        lems such as diseases and water quality,                    has identified several economic instru-                         Daphne Tan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a*scribe - communicating agriculture
revenue for producing countries.                  ment, particularly from Taiwan, training and    disease problems commonly found in the            and to external factors such as inad-                       ments to regulate farming practices.
    But close on the heels of shrimp’s            technology inputs, yields rose from 0.45        former, such as Yellow Head and White Spot        equate water sources and the weather.                          For instance, differentiated price per-
enormous economic benefit have been               to 2.13 tonnes per hectare between 1987         Symdrome Virus.                                      As a result, the financial risks from                    mits were proposed to enforce specific
questions raised on the issue of sustainabil-     and 1999.                                          Despite its significant economic con-          such systems are huge.                                      zoning regions for shrimp farming activi-
ity, notably the impact of farming practices                                                      tribution, shrimp farms in Thailand are
on the environment and natural resources.         Crop failures                                   mainly small holder operations of under
    These controversies have not been                But environmental pollution, depleted        1.5 hectares in size. Given the dominance
lost on Thailand, the world’s largest pro-
ducer and exporter of shrimp. The ‘bust’
                                                  water supplies, changes in water salinity
                                                  and disease problems soon led to massive
                                                                                                  of small-scale shrimp farms in total pro-
                                                                                                  duction, it is imperative that policies to             Active ingredients for healthy animals
cycles that followed the boom                             crop failures along the central Chao    improve sustainability are targeted at
in Thailand’s shrimp sector                                                                       addressing the needs and concerns of
closely shadow the collapse                                                                       such farms.
of the industry from heavy                                                                           A study carried out by the Asian Institute
demands that unsound prac-                                                                                 of Technology in Thailand found
tices had placed on the envi-                                                                                          that    lack     of
ronment, leading to diseases
and a host of other problems.                                                                                                                            Producers of petfood, agri- and aquafeed now can benefit from BENEO‘s unique expertise in the food world. BENEO-Animal Nutrition
    Shrimp farming in Thailand                                                                                                                           offers a broad range of nature based ingredients that improve nutritional value. It covers speciality ingredients such as vegetable
                                                                                                                                                         proteins, functional fibres & carbohydrates and prebiotics from chicory.            Connecting nutrition and health
began with semi-intensive monocul-

                                                                                                                                                    AZ-195x60_BENEO AN.indd 1                                                                                                                                          08/06/2010 11:21
                                                22 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | July-august 2010                                                                                                                July-august 2010 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | 23
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                                                                    premix for low-
                                                                     salinity culture
                                                                         of Litopenaeus vannamei

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Description: Among intensively cultivated aquatic species, shrimp has one of the highest values and is the most important fishery commodity traded.