Seven challenges of shrimp farming

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Shrimp farming is one of the most successful and influential industries in the food industry. Available statistics show the ever-increasing growth of this industry and its bright and cheerful future.

There are many reasons for the growth of this industry. However, shrimp farming faces many problems, issues, and challenges like any other industry.

In this article, let’s look at the industry from a different viewpoint. What are the challenges and issues in the development of this industry? In other words, what are the problems behind the scenes in shrimp farming?

There are seven critical challenges in shrimp farming. Let’s review them together.

1. Disease:

Disease is the dark side of shrimp farming and a farmer’s nightmare. It is the biggest challenge to shrimp production worldwide. We have already discussed the most common shrimp diseases. Diseases cause significant losses to shrimp farmers every year and are transmitted to shrimp by viruses, bacteria, or environmental factors. Currently, EMS is the worst shrimp disease in the world. Shrimp farmers should be aware of disease prevention measures so that diseases do not enter their farms. When diseases occur in farms, a lot of time and money must be spent to compensate.

In recent years, the use of SPF post larvae is one of the ways to prevent disease.

2- Feed:

Shrimp feed is the most expensive aspect of shrimp farming. Approximately 60-70% of the production cost in each growing season is spent on feed preparation, so preparing appropriate and high-quality feed is one of the challenges for farmers.

Another issue to consider is nutritious management. Underfeeding results in growth problems and overfeeding results in poor water quality.

3- Water Management:

In addition to proper nutrition, shrimp growth and health also depend on water parameters. The most important water parameters are temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, PH, etc. Proper management and control of water parameters has a direct effect on shrimp growth and is considered a serious challenge in shrimp farming.

Farmers should be aware of the optimum level of water parameters to apply the solutions and best management in case of increase or decrease of these parameters.

4- Market situation:

Another challenge for shrimp farmers is the market situation. Based on factors such as demand, production, global crises, etc., the global shrimp market changes. The profitability of producers can be affected by these changes. In recent years, coronavirus has had a significant impact on the food industry. Shrimp farming was no exception.

Statistics show that prices will not increase in 2023. This is an unpleasant issue for shrimp farmers around the world.

5- Environmental sustainability:

Wherever industry is discussed, so is environmental sustainability. Environmental sustainability means making the best use of resources, minimizing environmental damage, and leaving green earth for future generations.

In shrimp farming, environmental sustainability has become one of the major challenges that cannot be ignored.

To remain competitive in this industry, shrimp farmers worldwide must put sustainability on their agenda. Otherwise, sustainable shrimp producers will replace them in the not-too-distant future.

6- Climate changes:

Climate change is becoming increasingly evident and undeniable. Global warming and seasonal changes are affecting shrimp farming. These changes have challenged the management of water quality and the creation and maintenance of a suitable environment for shrimp growth.

7- Increase in production costs:

Production costs have increased significantly in recent years and are expected to continue to increase. The most significant increases have been in post-larvae, feed, and transportation costs. This mismatch between production costs and product prices in the market has been a major challenge for producers as the price of shrimp in the world market has not increased.

What are the challenges in different countries?

Shrimp farmers in different regions face many challenges. Some of these challenges are common to different countries, while others are unique and specific to a region.

India, Ecuador, and Indonesia are the largest shrimp producers in the world. What are the common challenges in these countries?

India: It has not been a good year for Indian farmers. The main challenges faced by the country’s producers are the increase in the cost of raw materials and electricity and the low price of products. The 15-20% increase in production costs over the last year and the spread of EMS disease have been a challenge for shrimp production in India.

Ecuador: The main challenge facing Ecuadorian producers is the increase in operational costs and the stability of international prices, which has become a serious and worrying issue in Ecuador. In the last decade, China has been the largest buyer of Ecuadorian shrimp, but since the outbreak of COVID-19, the export of Ecuadorian shrimp to China has decreased and Ecuador has lost an important part of its international market.

Indonesia: Some of the major challenges facing the shrimp farming industry in Indonesia are the stability of shrimp prices in the world market, increasing production costs, the spread of shrimp diseases, and climate change. As in most countries, the main disease threatening shrimp farming in Indonesia is EMS, which has caused problems for farmers to prevent and treat.

All shrimp farms around the world face challenges that vary in nature and severity depending on many factors. The most common challenges that have affected most of the world’s farmers are the increase in costs and the spread of disease.

However, shrimp farming is still one of the most profitable and productive industries in the world, and finding solutions to existing challenges should be on the agenda of farmers and governments.

The existing challenges can be significantly reduced through the use of new technologies, advanced management and control of farms by producers, and the creation of policies by governments to balance and adjust prices.

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