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Bait Shrimp Culture


Shrimp delicious, tonic and medicinal effects are higher. Its sweet, salty, and warm, impotence and kidney, supplement essence, through the power of milk. Where Jiubingtixu, shortness of breath, fatigue, not eating those, can be as nourishing food. People eat shrimp, there are physical strong body effect.

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									                                                                                                          SRAC Publication No. 1201

                                             April 2007                                              PR

                                       Bait Shrimp Culture
                                                           Ryan L. Gandy1

The live bait shrimp industry in                 pound. This wholesale price             However, live-haul trials of farm-
the southeastern U.S. is dependent               includes delivery from the shrimp       raised, live bait shrimp showed
on three shrimp species: the                     boat to the retail bait shop and so     that commercial volumes (200 to
Atlantic white shrimp (Litopenaeus               it varies with the distances            500 pounds per shipment) could
setiferus), the Gulf brown shrimp                involved. Retailers who own their       be successfully transported to
(Farfantepenaeus aztecus) and the                own shrimp boats may charge fish-       retail bait shops with more than
Gulf pink shrimp (F. duorarum).                  ermen as little as $7.00 per pound;     95 percent survival 24 hours after
All three species occur along the                in general, fishermen pay $10 to        delivery.
southern and eastern U.S. coasts                 $16 per pound for live bait shrimp
from Texas through North                         (Fig. 1).                               Seed supply
Carolina. The live bait shrimp
                                                                                         The main impediment to bait
industry within this extensive                   Live hauling bait shrimp                shrimp aquaculture has been the
coastal region is mostly a capture
                                                 Wild-caught bait shrimp are trans-      lack of consistent supplies of dis-
fishery. Juvenile shrimp within a
                                                 ported to market in oxygenated          ease-free postlarvae (PL). Without
size range of 150- to 60-count
                                                 holding tanks at densities of 1 to      them, both researchers and com-
shrimp (3.0- to 7.5-g) are harvested
                                                 2 pounds per gallon of water.           mercial aquaculturists have relied
from inshore waters with trawling
                                                 Mortality rates can be 25 to 50 per-    on two methods of obtaining PL.
gear. Recently, farm-raised, live
                                                 cent within 24 hours of delivery.
bait shrimp were introduced as an
alternative to wild-caught shrimp.

Bait shrimp market
The wild product is highly season-
al and the supply rarely meets
demand, especially during the
peak demand period of March
through September.
Shrimp are sold as both a live and
a frozen product, with live shrimp
commanding a premium price.
The dockside (ex-vessel) price
wholesalers pay to boat captains
for live bait shrimp ranges from
$2.75 to $4.00 per pound. The
wholesale price bait retailers pay
ranges from $7.50 to $14.00 per

    Mote Marine Laboratory Shrimp Research
    Program, Sarasota, Florida.                  Figure 1. The most valuable consumers of live bait shrimp.
Method I - sourcing wild, mated,        these populations. Once a “high-        plied with a combination of fresh
gravid females                          health” wild population has been        squid, adult enriched Artemia and
                                        isolated, it is induced to spawn        bloodworms fed on a wet-weight
This method entails leasing coastal     and its offspring are tested for        basis (20 percent of body weight
shrimp boats during the full moons      known viral pathogens. Once the         per day, bw/d). Dry maturation
of spring and early summer to           offspring are determined to be          diets are added to reduce the cost
trawl the spawning grounds for          “clean,” they are moved to a biose-     of fresh food.
mated, gravid (egg-bearing) females     cure grow-out facility where they
(Fig. 2). Once gravid females are                                               Once acclimated to the maturation
                                        are raised to broodstock size. The      system, females are unilaterally
caught, they are either spawned in      broodstock are then reproduced in
individual tanks onboard the vessel                                             ablated—a process in which one
                                        maturation facilities and their off-    eyestalk is removed to induce mat-
or transported to land-based            spring are used to supply farmers
spawning tanks. Each gravid                                                     uration. Ovarian development
                                        with PL.                                ensues within 72 hours and mating
female is kept in an individual tank
for 12 to 36 hours under dark con-      The maturation and reproduction         and spawning begin thereafter.
ditions, at a temperature of about      of broodstock occur in a climate-       Broodstock ranging from 25 to 35 g
28 °C (82.4 °F), and at a salinity of   controlled maturation system            have a reproductive capacity of
30 to 35 ppt. After spawning, the       (27 °C, 80.6 °F) with 14-hour light     100,000 to 250,000 eggs per spawn
female is removed from the tank         and 10-hour dark photoperiods           and can spawn every 3 to 7 days.
and the fertilized eggs hatch within    (Fig. 3). Broodstock are kept in        Fertilized eggs will hatch within 24
24 hours.                               10.5- to 16.4-m2 (12-ft to 15-ft        hours of fertilization at 28 °C
                                        diameter) maturation tanks at den-      (82.4 °F). The nauplii are allowed
Sourcing wild, mated, gravid            sities of six shrimp per m2. During
females is a cost-effective tech-                                               to remain in hatching tanks until
                                        maturation, broodstock are sup-         they metamorphose into the last
nique for acquiring fertilized eggs,
but it is not a reliable year-round
production method. There also is a
high risk of acquiring shrimp
infected with viral pathogens that
will jeopardize the biosecurity and
sustainability of the farm.
Method II– hatchery
Developing and operating a biose-
cure hatchery is both capital and
labor intensive. However, a biose-
cure hatchery ensures a sufficient
year-round supply of PL for com-
mercial operations. Healthy brood-
stock must be developed and main-
tained in a disease-free hatchery.
The quantity of viral pathogen-free
broodstock is limited. Researchers
at the Mote Marine Laboratory in
Sarasota, Florida, the Waddell          Figure 2. Sourcing gravid females at night onboard a shrimp boat.
Mariculture Center in Bluffton,
South Carolina, and the Texas
Agricultural Experiment Station in
Corpus Christi, Texas, are isolating
and developing “high-health”
broodstock populations of the
Atlantic white shrimp and Gulf
pink shrimp.
“High-health” broodstock are devel-
oped through a process of quaran-
tine and routine population testing
using histological examination and
a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
technique. Continuous screening of
broodstock and offspring with
these diagnostic tools detects
organisms with specific pathogens
so they can be eliminated from          Figure 3. Maturation system.
naupliar stage (N5). During the         As a general rule, the acclimation      farmers may increase production
naupliar stages, no feed is provided    temperature is changed by 1 °C          densities to more than 2.5 kg/m2.
as nauplii feed on their yolk sacs.     (1.8 °F) every 15 minutes until it      Intensive nurseries increase grow-
Nauplii (N5) are then collected and     matches the culture system tem-         out survival by allowing farmers to
transferred to larval-rearing tanks     perature. Once temperature is           stock larger shrimp (0.25 to 1.0 g)
maintained at 28 to 29 °C (82.4 to      adjusted, salinity can be changed       into grow-out systems. In the tem-
84.2 °F) where they are fed marine      by 1 ppt every 15 minutes until it      perate climate of the southeastern
algae (Chaetoceros gracilis and         matches the culture tank salinity.      U.S., greenhouse-enclosed nurs-
Isochrysis galbana), live, newly        If the pond has less than 15 ppt        eries are used to give shrimp a
hatched Artemia nauplii, and dry        salinity and/or a temperature of        head start in early fall (Fig. 4). A
larval and postlarval diets, depend-    less than 20 °C (68 °F), it is          “head start” nursery is an effective
ing on the stage of development         advisable to use a nursery phase        way to increase the number of
and the dietary needs of that stage.    and stock older, heartier juveniles     crops each year and have better
Shrimp larvae go through six larval     later on.                               control over production by stock-
stages over a 9-day period in the                                               ing known quantities of heartier
larval-rearing tank before they
                                        Zero exchange                           juveniles. In regions where early
metamorphose to a postlarval (PL1)      intensive nurseries                     spring temperatures are cooler
stage. The entire larval cycle from     Intensive nurseries (1,000 to           than 20 °C (68 °F), greenhouse
N5 until the shipment of the PL8-13     50,000 PL/m2) with biomass              nurseries are essential so that the
lasts 17 to 22 days, depending on       capacities of 2 to 4 kg/m2 operated     crop can be held until water in the
the age of the PL requested by the      under zero exchange have become         grow-out system warms up.
farm. In general, farmers request       an important tool for shrimp
PL8 - PL13 for stocking production                                              Nursery management
                                        farmers. Zero exchange nursery
systems.                                systems can have survivals of           Nursery culture water is main-
                                        more than 80 percent and a har-         tained at a temperature of 28 to
Shipping post-larvae                    vest biomass of 1 to 7 kg/m2,           29 °C (82.4 to 84.2 °F), a dissolved
Post-larvae are removed from lar-       depending on the skill of the           oxygen level of 5 to 7 mg/L, a pH
val-rearing tanks and concentrated      management and the investment           of 7.5 to 8.5, and a Secchi depth of
for counting, packing and ship-         in capital infrastructure (filters      25 to 30 cm. Ten to 14 days before
ping. Shrimp PL are shipped at          and oxygenation). Basic systems         PL arrive from a hatchery, the cul-
densities of 1,000 to 2,000 per L in    consist of a green house enclo-         ture tanks are filled with seawater
polyethylene bags containing sea-       sure; a 20- to 60-mil, high-density,    (20 to 35 ppt). Then the water is
water (30 to 35 ppt) that is saturat-   polyethylene (HDPE) liner; a sand       sterilized with sodium hypochlo-
ed with oxygen and cooled to            or bead filter; a regenerative          rite (household bleach at 10 ppm)
18 °C (64.4 °F) before packing.         blower for aeration; a propane or       to prevent the introduction of
The bags are usually packed in          electric heat source; and oxygen        pathogens from incoming waters.
insulated foam coolers to maintain      injection for large biomasses           The treated culture water is
temperature during shipping. Some       (more than 2.5 kg/m2) and emer-         allowed to sit for 24 hours without
farmers save on the high cost of        gencies. With increased experi-         aeration to prevent a rapid reduc-
freight by transporting high densi-     ence and capital expenditure,           tion of chlorine. During this period
ties of PL (more than 1 million) in
live-haul trucks with oxygenated

When a PL is at least 8 days old
(PL8), it is sufficiently robust to
handle the stress of transport and
acclimation. The culture system
must be more than 15 ppt salinity
and warmer than 20 °C (68 °F) for
the acclimation to proceed.
Acclimation is accomplished in
small, temporary tanks near the
pond (direct stocking) or in a nurs-
ery tank (a temporary tank for
holding animals before they are
released into the grow-out system).
During acclimation, the density of
shrimp is more than 500 per L.
Pure oxygen is provided to the
                                        Figure 4. Intensive greenhouse nursery at Mote Marine Laboratory.
tanks and bags during acclimation.
the chlorine concentration will         nursery cycle as the biomass                pH higher than 7.5, and a Secchi
remain above 1 ppm to provide the       increases to more than 2.5 kg/m2.           depth of 25 to 30 cm. Ponds may
necessary disinfection level. After                                                 be disinfected with 10 ppm chlo-
24 hours, the water is heavily aer-     Nursery harvesting                          rine upon filling to kill viral vec-
ated to remove residual chlorine, a     Nurseries should be equipped with           tors and pathogens that may be
process that takes 3 to 5 days          a harvest basin and constructed to          introduced from wild sources.
depending on temperature and            drain fully. Harvest begins in the          However, this may not be econom-
organic load. The dechlorinated         early morning when the nursery is           ically feasible, given the cost of
culture water is then fertilized and    drain-harvested into a harvest              chlorine and size of the operation.
inoculated with algae.                  basin. Shrimp are removed from              Whether or not a pond is dechlori-
The raceway water is fertilized         the harvest basin with collection           nated, incoming water should
with inorganic fertilizer (5 mg/L       nets and transferred to hanging bal-        always be filtered with 200-micron
urea, 0.5 mg/L triple super phos-       ances for group weights. During             socks.
phate and 1 mg/L sodium metasili-       the weighing process, a periodic            Ponds are filled and fertilized with
cate). Water from an adjacent race-     sub-sample of the population is             200 pounds per acre of cottonseed
way with a healthy algal bloom is       weighed and counted to determine            meal 5 to 7 days before stocking.
generally used to inoculate the new     the average weight of the popula-           Culture water from an established
raceway with algae. Moderate aera-      tion. The average weight and total          pond is transferred into the new
tion is maintained in the raceways      biomass are used to determine total         pond to inoculate it and expedite
as the algal bloom develops over        shrimp harvested and the survival           the algal bloom. The algal bloom
the next 7 days to a Secchi reading     in the raceways                             should be well established (25 to
of approximately 25 to 30 cm. It is     Total shrimp harvested = Total biomass      30 cm Secchi depth) when shrimp
important to check pH as the            weighed ÷ Average weight                    are stocked.
bloom develops. The high pH                                                         Once in the ponds, shrimp are fed
(higher than 8.75) created by the       Survival rate = (Total shrimp harvested ÷
                                        Number of shrimp stocked) x 100 %           a 30 to 35% protein feed at rates of
algal bloom can be a problem for                                                    3 to 6 percent bw/d. Feed trays are
young PL. To counteract it, carbon      The shrimp are rapidly weighed              used to prevent overfeeding. The
dioxide from a compressed CO2           and placed in hauling tanks                 water must be aerated at a rate of
cylinder is added to the culture        equipped with oxygen injection for          10 to 18 hp per acre (Fig. 5). The
water with an air stone to decrease     transportation to the pond.                 general pond culture period for
the pH to 8.0 before PL are                                                         90-count shrimp (5.0 g) is 90 days.
stocked. Nursery aeration is then       Intensive pond production                   Ponds stocked with 0.5-g shrimp at
reduced to a minimum and PL are                                                     a density of 200 per m2 can grow
                                        For optimum production, pond
acclimated and stocked in the nurs-                                                 at a rate of 0.5 g per week, have
                                        water should have a temperature of
ery system.                                                                         70 percent survival, and produce
                                        28 to 29 °C (82.4 to 84.2 °F), a
Nursery feeds                           salinity of 20 to 30 ppt, a dissolved       up to 7,000 kg/ha (6,160 lbs/ac) of
                                        oxygen level higher than 5 mg/L, a          market size (5.0-g) live bait shrimp.
A diet of newly hatched Artemia
(five nauplii/L/day) and dry post-
larval feed (50% protein) is fed at
10 to 25 percent of the total body
weight per day (bw/d) for the first
5 days after stocking. Then the
feed rate is reduced to 7.5 percent
bw/d and the feed is changed to a
40% protein crumble #0 feed. The
crumble size is gradually increased
(0, 1, 2, 3 and 4) as the shrimp
grow. Shrimp feed is provided at
7.5 percent bw/d for days 6
through 14, then reduced to 6 per-
cent bw/d for the remainder of the
culture period.
Nursery growth rate
Under intensive nursery culture,
native shrimp have grown from a
PL10 to 0.5 g in 50 to 60 days.
Supplemental oxygen and periodic
filtration (using a sand or bead fil-   Figure 5. Intensive pond production at the Texas Agricultural Experiment
ter) are necessary to complete the      Station in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Pond harvesting                       Bait shrimp                              de Garza, Yta, D.B. Rouse and
                                                                                   D.A. Davis. 2004. Influence of
Shrimp are harvested in the early     aquaculture information                      nursery period on the growth
morning when the temperature is                                                    and survival of Litopenaeus
low. A seine can be used to manu-     Contacts by state                            vannamei under pond produc-
ally harvest the pond, though this                                                 tion conditions. Journal of the
method is labor intensive. Another    Alabama
                                                                                   World Aquaculture Society
method uses a hydraulic fish          D.A. Davis                                   35:357-35.
pump attached to the harvest          Department of Fisheries and Allied
basin to drain-harvest the pond.      Aquacultures, Auburn University          Hanson T.R., R.K. Wallace, L.U.
Harvested shrimp are rapidly                                                       Hatch and W. Hosking. 1999.
weighed in small batches (less        Florida                                      Coastal Alabama recreational
than 35 pounds each) before being     R. L. Gandy                                  live bait study, Report on the
loaded into a hauling truck. The      Mote Marine Laboratory Shrimp                1997 and 1998 Alabama live
hauling truck is equipped with        Research Program, Sarasota                   bait market surveys. Report
oxygen injection to maintain satu-                                                 prepared for the Auburn
rated oxygen conditions (more         Mississippi                                  University Marine Extension
than 10 mg/L) during transport.       T. R. Hanson                                 and Research Center, 4170
The temperature is also lowered to    Department of Agricultural                   Commander’s Dr., Mobile,
about 20 °C (68 °F) to reduce         Economics, Mississippi State                 Alabama. AUMERC 00-1. 30
stress.                               University                                   pp.
Farmers who harvest and sell live     South Carolina                           Mays, R., J.A. Venero, D.A. Davis,
shrimp to wholesalers at pond                                                      D.B. Rouse and I.P. Saoud. (in
                                      C.L. Browdy                                  press). Nursery protocols for
bank can expect prices of $4.50 to
                                      South Carolina Department of                 the rearing of the brown
$5.50 per pound. Farmers who
                                      Natural Resources                            shrimp, Farfantepenaeus
invest in hauling trucks and equip-
ment can expect to receive more       Texas                                        aztecus: effects of stocking
than $7.50 per pound for deliv-                                                    density, salinity and EDTA on
                                      T. M. Samocha                                growth and survival. Journal of
ered shrimp.                          Texas Agricultural Experiment                Applied Aquaculture.
                                      Station Shrimp Research Program
Other culture systems                                                          Sandifer, P.A., J. S. Hopkins, A.D.
Since the mid 1990s, researchers      Selected readings                            Stokes and C.L. Browdy. 1993.
have been developing super-inten-                                                  Preliminary comparisons of
                                      Cohen, J., T.M. Samocha, J.M. Fox            the native Penaeus setiferus and
sive, closed-recirculating shrimp        and A.L. Lawrence. 2005.
production systems. Recent                                                         Pacific Penaeus vannamei white
                                         Biosecured production of juve-            shrimp for pond culture in
advances in this technology have         nile Pacific white shrimp in an
made it possible to produce                                                        South Carolina. Journal of the
                                         intensive raceway system with             World Aquaculture Society
shrimp year round under high             limited water discharge.
density conditions (3 to 7 kg/m2).                                                 24:295-303.
                                         Aquacultural Engineering 32(3-
These systems are still in the           4):425-442.                           Samocha, T.M., B.J. Burkott, A.L.
research and development phase                                                     Lawrence, Y.S. Juan, E.R.
so capital and operating costs are    Davis, D.A. and C.R. Arnold.1998.            Jones and D.A. McKee. 1998.
much higher (more than $3.50 per         The design, management and                Management strategies for
pound) than with pond production         production of a recirculating             production of the Atlantic
methods ($1.25 to $2.50 per              raceway system for the produc-            white shrimp Penaeus setiferus
pound). The economic feasibility         tion of marine shrimp.                    as bait shrimp in outdoor
of these production systems is cur-      Aquacultural Engineering 17:193-          ponds. Journal of World
rently limited to markets where          211.                                      Aquaculture Society 29:211-220.
prices are consistently high (more    Gandy, R.L. 1997. U.S. national          Samocha, T.M. and R. Gandy.
than $5.00 per pound). Super-            live bait shrimp market survey.           2000. Protocol for nursery
intensive production systems are         Master’s thesis, Texas A&M                raceway. Acuacultura del
marginally profitable when the           University-Corpus Christi,                Ecuador 39:72-77.
price falls below $5.00 per pound.       Corpus Christi, Texas.
These systems are not economical-                                              Zajicek, P., D. Zimett, C. Adama
                                      Gandy, R., T.M. Samocha, E.R.                and A. Lazur. 1997. Live bait
ly feasible when there is consider-
                                         Jones, and D.A. McKee. 2001.              shrimp market analysis and
able competition or profit margins
                                         The Texas live bait shrimp mar-           farm enterprise budget.
are low, but they do show promise
                                         ket. Journal of Shellfish Fisheries       Bureau of Seafood and
for year-round production or for
                                         20(1):365-367.                            Aquaculture. Florida
facilities that must be located
inland in biosecure areas.                                                         Department of Agriculture and
                                                                                   Consumer Services.
            The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to
            commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that
            no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Southern Regional
            Aquaculture Center or the Cooperative Extension Service is implied.

SRAC fact sheets are reviewed annually by the Publications, Videos and Computer Software Steering
Committee. Fact sheets are revised as new knowledge becomes available. Fact sheets that have not
been revised are considered to reflect the current state of knowledge.

              The work reported in this publication was supported in part by the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center
              through Grant No. 2003-38500-12997 from the United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State
              Research, Education, and Extension Service.

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