All about Wild-Caught Shrimp

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As you know, about four-fifths of the earth is covered by water. The seabed is the habitat of countless animals and plants. Shrimp is one of the aquatic animals considered an important source of nutrition for the world’s people. Shrimps are crustaceans and live in oceans, lakes, rivers, and seas.

Most of the shrimps choose saltwater to live and about a quarter of them live in freshwater.

So far, nearly 3000 species of saltwater and freshwater shrimp have been identified. One of the most important families of saltwater shrimps is the Penaeidae family, which includes 300 different species.

Wild-Caught shrimps have an elongated body and are curved in the middle parts. Their color varies from greenish-white to gray and pink. Factors such as light, temperature, and nutrition affect their body color.

Saltwater shrimps have two sexes, male and female, and their reproduction is done through egg-laying.

Different types of Wild-Caught shrimp species in the world and in Iran

According to the statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about 343 species of saltwater shrimp are economically important which 110 species belong to the Penaeidae family. Penaeid species account for 80% of global shrimp production. These species are mainly found in tropical and subtropical regions such as the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean.

There are several factors that cause diversity in saltwater shrimp habitats. These factors include temperature, the structure of the deep oceans, the structure of the coastal zones, and ocean currents.

Among the most important species of the Penaeidae family that have economic value and are caught for commercial purposes, the following can be mentioned:

Black tiger shrimp, Indian white shrimp, Japanese shrimp, and Oriental shrimp, which are commonly found in the Indian and Pacific oceans;

Western blue shrimp and western white shrimp (Vannamei) live on the shores of America; (The Vannamei species are used for breeding in Iran and their productive species are imported from this region, and our company also uses the highest quality of these species for breeding).

Banana shrimp, green tiger shrimp, Jinga shrimp, and red tail shrimp live in the Indian, Pacific oceans, and Persian Gulf waters.

Among these species, the green tiger shrimp is the dominant species on the shores of Bushehr province.

Wild-Caught shrimp feeding

Saltwater shrimps have different nutrition during their growth, and they are omnivorous creatures that are more inclined to be carnivores. The diversity of their nutrition is great; Small crustaceans, larvae of other organisms, algae, zooplankton, fish body pieces, worms, etc. are examples of shrimp nutrition. In case of insufficient food and required minerals, they may turn to cannibalism.

Shrimps are benthic creatures and a large percentage of them eat during the night. After finding and hunting their food, these creatures consume it gradually.

The energy obtained from feeding is spent on keeping body temperature, molting, body maintenance, growth, and reproduction.

Nutritional value and minerals in Wild-Caught shrimps

Shrimp is more popular than other aquatics due to its high protein and low calories. But the value of shrimp does not end there. Shrimp is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and phosphorus.

Since the protein in shrimp does not have connective tissue, it is easily digested and is very suitable for elderly people who have digestion problems.

In addition, vitamins such as B3, B6, B12, vitamin D, and vitamin C are also in the body of shrimp. Low fat is another factor that makes this aquatic creature valuable too.

The exporting and importing countries of the saltwater shrimp

The export value of saltwater shrimp had reached 16 billion dollars in 2020.

India, Ecuador, and Vietnam are currently the largest exporters of saltwater shrimp in the world. Indonesia, Argentina, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, and Spain are other major global exporters.

Per capita consumption of shrimp is increasing in the world, especially in developed countries. Countries like America and China are the main importers, and Japan, Spain, and France also account for a large volume of shrimp imports.

Of course, it should be noted that due to environmental conditions and limitations, there is a small quantity of saltwater shrimp; so, most of the world’s shrimp is supplied through farming. On the other hand, saltwater shrimps don’t import into wide export markets due to the lack of control over their growth, nutrition, health conditions, and the necessary standards. A large part of saltwater shrimp is locally consumed in the areas where they are caught, and only a small part is exported to neighboring countries.

Challenges related to shrimp overfishing and its impact on the environment

According to researchers’ findings, 28% of shrimp species are in danger of extinction. Indiscriminate and unprincipled shrimp fishing causes a lot of damage to the marine ecosystem. One of the common methods of hunting is to use nets on the seabed. These large nets destroy the rest of the animals living on the sea floor and disturb the biological balance. Moreover, shrimp fishing with these nets causes the release of carbon accumulated in the sea floor, leading to the earth’s warming.

In recent years, following the establishment of a program called sustainable development by the United Nations, countries have been required to maintain and use the oceans and seas, and marine resources in a sustainable manner. Preventing overfishing and combating marine pollution are the most important goals of this program.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global non-profit organization that aims to educate and encourage consumers to use marine products that have been prepared with sustainable development methods.

It is hoped that by increasing knowledge and awareness in the field of sustainable development and applying practical solutions, we will see the end of illegal fishing and the threat to the marine environment.

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