Shrimp Farm Effluent Management

Table of Contents

The shrimp farming industry has grown rapidly in recent decades. Its growth provides jobs and income for people around the world, in addition to providing protein for the world’s population. Producers around the world, especially in Asia, are competing for more and better results.

However, environmental risks and damages can occur during the shrimp production and farming process. The discharge of farm effluent into the natural environment is one of these damages. Aquaculture effluent is the water generated during the shrimp production cycle. It contains nutrients, organic and inorganic compounds, phosphorus, etc. These effluents come from uneaten food, shrimp feces, dead skin, decomposed bacteria, and algae. If not properly managed, the discharge of wastewater into the environment can be a source of environmental pollution and many risks to animals, plants, and humans.

Shrimp farms are mainly located along the coastline. Water is taken from the sea at the beginning of the cultivation period. The used water is returned to nature through the water outlet canal during and at the end of the cultivation period.

One of the factors in disease transmission can be farm effluent. This problem reaches its peak when the same water source is used by neighboring farms. In this case, it becomes very difficult to control the disease as it is transferred from one farm to another.

Principled effluent management can significantly reduce environmental damage. Several solutions can be used to manage effluent and reduce its risks. This article examines some of these solutions.

Using a better feeding system

Feeding is one of the most important factors affecting water quality in shrimp farms. Shrimp feed accounts for a large percentage of the organic matter produced in ponds. The amount of organic matter in the water is directly influenced by the quality and quantity of the feed. The amount can be reduced by using high-quality feed and proper feeding practices. Organic matter is regulated by feeding the right amount at the right time.

The use of a settlement pond

The use of settlementponds on farms is another proposed solution for shrimp farm effluent management. This reduces suspended solids. The effluent from the growing pond is diverted through a canal to the settlement pond. The water settles in this pond for some time and suspended solids and organic matter settle to the bottom of the pond. The effluent is then discharged through the outlet canal. This method can reduce suspended solids in the water by 90%.

Water Exchange

Regular water changes throughout the growing period can reduce the amount of organic matter in the water. This will help improve water quality and the health of the environment and shrimp.

It is recommended to change a small amount of pond water daily at the beginning of the culture. This amount will increase as the production cycle progresses.

The use of probiotics

The use of beneficial bacteria or probiotics is another way to manage agricultural effluent. Bacterial strains facilitate the rapid decomposition of various organic compounds in the water and reduce the organic load. Bacteria also prevent the growth of pathogens in grow-out ponds, improving shrimp growth and survival.

We have previously discussed probiotics and their benefits in shrimp culture.

Using the Biofloc System

Another solution for shrimp farm effluent management is the use of the Biofloc system. This is one of the new systems in the shrimp farming industry. The Biofloc system limits or eliminates water exchange and balances the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio by adding external carbon sources such as molasses. In this system, by producing edible protein, there is a reduction in shrimp feed conversion ratio and an improvement in water quality.

Using a polyculture system

Polyculture is a system in which two or more species are grown simultaneously for specific purposes such as productivity or water quality management.

Polyculture is a promising method for sustainable shrimp production because it reduces the environmental impact of shrimp aquaculture by allowing certain species to feed on shrimp waste. Several species can be polycultured with shrimp, including tilapia, milkfish, and sea cucumber.

Use of biological filters

One of the new solutions for shrimp farm effluent management is the use of biological filters. This method uses various aquatic animals to refine and purify shrimp farm effluent. There are several types of aquatic animals; the first category is shoreline aquatic plants and algae, which slow down the flow of wastewater and absorb significant amounts of suspended and dissolved nutrients. Another group is filter feeders that filter the suspended solids in the pond. The last group is sediment feeders. These organisms prevent chemicals in the sediment from returning to the water surface. It is possible to better manage agricultural effluent by creating the conditions necessary for the growth of biological filters.

Effluent management, the need for a sustainable industry

As the shrimp farming industry grows and expands, farmers must seriously manage the environmental impact of production. Shrimp farm effluent is destructive and detrimental to the environment and the production process. Minimizing these risks is a key pillar of a sustainable shrimp farming industry.

It is possible to take an important step in the basic management of effluent and significantly reduce its harmful effects on the ecosystem by using the knowledge and results of studies conducted in this area, as well as by using advanced equipment and modern methods.


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