A new Purdue Extension publication can help both beginning and established marine shrimp farmers make their operations the most productive and cost-effective they can be in an industry that is growing and becoming more competitive. Marine Shrimp Biofloc Systems: Basic Management Practices is the result of a meeting in 2014 to assess the needs of Indiana shrimp farmers. “Based on this meeting, it appears that both novice and experienced shrimp farmers need more technical knowledge,” said Robert Rode, a Purdue Extension aquaculture specialist. “The publication summarizes basic management practices for most farmers raising marine shrimp in Indiana based on the most current literature available.”
Rode said an increasing number of marine shrimp enterprises have started in Indiana over the past several years. They are popular because of their lower capital costs, their various sizes of operations and shrimp’s high market value. Most of the information in the publication pertains to the biofloc water treatment system – the predominant method of rearing shrimp in Indiana – for dealing with metabolic wastes associated with production.
A biofloc system, the author explains, reduces costs and saves floor space because it eliminates the need for a biofilter used in other systems. It also decreases feed costs because bioflocs – bacteria that form colonies in the main rearing tank – serve as an additional feed source for the shrimp.
A key to effective management of a shrimp operation is the quality of water in the tanks.“No matter what system is used, shrimp must have good water quality for health and growth,” Rode writes. “Shrimp, like other aquatic organisms raised at higher than natural densities, affect the quality of the water they live in. Controlling this environment to maintain optimum conditions reduces stress levels, improves growth, and reduces the risk of mortality.”
The publication also explains proper stocking of shrimp per square meter, the need for frequent testing of water to ensure that the shrimp are healthy and growing, and proper daily feeding.
The publication is available for free download at Purdue Extension’s The Education Store at www.edustore.purdue.edu. Search for produce code FNR-495-W. The Education Store also has several other publications on aquaculture for producers.