Tropical Shrimps and Prawns

Page - July 25, 2008

Greenpeace Canada Redlist

Fishery Facts

Latin Name Penaeus spp

Common Name Black tiger shrimp, Great tiger prawn

Production Method Ponds or farms located along the coast.

Annual Production Typical farm yields vary from 300 to 1,600 kg of edible shrimp per hectare. A total of 62,959,046 tonnes of shrimp and prawns were farmed in 2005.

Region of Production Countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Thailand, Bangladesh and Indonesia are the leading shrimp producers.

Other Shrimp farming has been traced back as far as 500 B.C. when shrimp were raised in ponds. Shrimp farms can be harvested up to three times a year.

Tropical shrimps & prawns
Why is it on the red list?   Biology

1. Inland farming destroys mangroves, which are the coastal equivalent of terrestrial rainforests. Once the mangroves are ripped out, the coast is rendered unstable, triggering erosion, harming coral reefs and seagrass beds, and eliminating habitat for a range of marine animals. Estimates suggest that as high as 38 per cent of mangroves have been lost to shrimp farming.

2. Shrimp farms cultivate large numbers of shrimp in overcrowded ponds that require large amounts of chemicals, artificial feeds and antibiotics. The resulting toxic waste is very harmful to local ecosystems. In Thailand it is estimated that 1.3 billion cubic metres of waste are discharged annually.

3. Shrimp farming also requires a constant supply of fresh water to maintain oxygen levels. This practice depletes local rivers and groundwater sources, undermining local communities' drinking water supplies.

4. Many human rights abuses including threats and murders have been reported Central and South American countries, and child labor has been reported in Sri Lanka, Indian, Bangladeshi, Thai, Cambodian, Indonesian, Peruvian, Ecuadorean, and Burmese shrimp farms

Shrimp go through four metamorphoses before attaining adult characteristics. It takes 12 days to transition from hatching to post-larvae stage.

Shrimp are typically a bottom dwelling species.

Shrimp generally mature around one year, and can live up to three to four years.

Females can lay up to one million eggs, which hatch after only 24 hours.

Shrimp are bred in hatcheries, introduced as juveniles to the marine environment, in nurseries, and grown to harvest size in growout ponds which takes from three to six months.