I N C O R P O R AT I N G F i S H Far M ing t E c H no L og Y

January | February 2014 EXPERT TOPIC - SHRIMP

International Aquafeed is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2014 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058

The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry

EXPERT T●PIC

SHRIMP
Welcome to Expert Topic. Each issue will take an in-depth look at a particular species and how its feed is managed.
42 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | January-February 2014

EXPERT TOPIC

EXPERT T●PIC

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Global

EMS Impact on global shrimp industry and future prospects
by Dr Farshad Shishehchian, president and CEO of Blue Aqua International and president-elect of the Asia Pacific Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society he early mortality syndrome (EMS) in shrimp has been ravaging production systems, spreading vertically in Asia and horizontally to countries as far away as Mexico since first reported in 2009. Looking at the impact of EMS on the three largest global shrimp producers – Thailand, Vietnam and China - there have been substantial effects on supply and prices to the global shrimp market. "Thailand used to be the largest shrimp exporter with over 500,000 metric tonnes of shrimp production. "In 2013, its production fell almost 50 percent from the previous year because of EMS. This offers a window of opportunity for other potential shrimp producers such as Indonesia, India and Ecuador. Indonesia farmers have experienced the highest profit record in their shrimp history as a result. "Culture expansion is putting in full force during this lucrative period. India is another

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potential producer to keep an eye on. Since the permission of vannamei culture a few years back, India increased its shrimp production by more than two fold last year. Ecuador is pushing with much higher production in the past two years." In conclusion, and due to the impact of EMS, Dr Shishehchia says shrimp Dr Farshad Shishehchian President and CEO of Blue prices will continue their Aqua International and President-elect of the Asia high level for some time Pacific Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society because of the insufficient (right) with Tuti Tan of International Aquafeed supply. magazine, Roger Gilbert President of Association "This is likely to conof Sdeafood Professionals and publisher of IAF and Nun Chongwitookit, Marketing Communications tinue until Thailand, the at Blue Aqua International during the APA13 world’s leading shrimp exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in exporter and most techDecember 2013 nologically advanced producer, gets into recovery mode and creates a shift in supply and prices." corporation with International Aquafeed However, the long-term impact will be and the Association of International consolidation and integration of shrimp farms. Seafood Professionals is organising a EMS The current disease situation and environ- Forum: 'Managing the Shrimp Epidemic' in ment will push for consolidation in the mar- terms of bringing practical solutions to the ket. Small farms without aquaculture practice shrimp industry. The forum will be held on standards and sufficient funds will be driven March 28-29, 2014 at KU Home, Kasetsart out of the business. Those large farms with University, Bangkok, Thailand. This event strong finance, good farm management, low is supported by Department Fisheries of cost, high access to markets will be the future Thailand, Department Fisheries of Indonesia, of the shrimp industry, he adds. Shrimp Club of Indonesia (SCI) and Blue Aqua International. Participants are expected from India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Mexico in addiEMS Forum tion to Indonesia and Thailand. Asian Aquaculture Network (AAN), in

January-February 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 43

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EXPERT T●PIC

Biofloc systems
Using super-intensive biofloc systems for Pacific white shrimp production
by Tzachi Samocha, Terryl Hanson, Timothy Morris, Vitalina Magalhães, Bob Advent and André Braga, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Mariculture Lab, Flour Bluff, Texas, USA he demand for protein by an increasing world population – together with decreasing harvests from fisheries – has resulted in rapid growth of aquaculture. Global aquaculture currently accounts for 40 percent of seafood production and provides 60 percent of shrimp demand.The world shrimp farming industry’s annual growth over the last decade has been estimated at 10 percent. The rapid expansion of this industry has stimulated the intensification of production systems, which has unfortunately resulted in the release of nutrients and organic waste, and sometimes the spread of diseases, all damaging receiving streams. Uncontrolled growth has imposed heavy losses, and raised major criticisms that threaten further development of the industry. To reduce losses to disease outbreaks, producers have been looking for more sustainable and cost-effective practices.

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Despite the world trend in favour of aquaculture, in the United States the sector has shown no substantial growth. The country thus remains a net seafood importer, with annual shrimp imports of 1.2 billion lbs worth $4.5 billion. New approaches must Table 3. Combined mean production values from two grow-out studies conducted in 2011 with juveniles Litopenaeus vannamei from Fast-Growth (a) and Taura resistant lines (b) in the 40 m3 and be devised if US shrimp farming is to avoid the 100 m3 raceways. the environmental drawbacks of traditional flow-through ponds. US systems must have Salinity Initial Final Growth Sur. Yield System Density Days FCR N (ppt) Wt. (g) Wt. (g) (g/wk) (%) (kg/m3) Volume (shrimp/m3) a very low impact on the environment and fully contain – rather than export – any water quality or disease problems that 500a 18 1.9 23.2 82 1.82 82.3 9.5 1.43 40 m3 4 arise. One approach is to shift from low3 40 m 1 500a 30 1.4 25.1 85 1.95 78.9 9.9 1.44 intensity outdoor ponds to super-intensive 3 100 m 2 390b 30 3.1 25.3 106 1.46 83.0 8.4 1.77 indoor recirculating aquaculture systems
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(RAS). With little or even Table 1. Litopenaeus vannamei performance in a 92-d growno water exchange, properly out trial in four 40 m3 RWs stocked with juveniles (1.2 g) at a density of 530/m3 and operated with no water exchange managed RAS thus reduces or eliminates the amount of Water Use Sur. Wt Growth Yield nutrients released to the enviFCR (L/kg ID 3 (g) (g/wk) (kg/m ) (%) Shrimp) ronment, escape of non-native culture species, and spread ST 18.45a 1.27 8.96 84.4 1.28 148 of pathogens to the environment. Because of these factors FF 17.35b 1.26 8.24 80.2 1.35 149 they easily conform to effluent standards set by the national * Values with different superscript letters indicate stat regulator. Biofloc technology (BFT) Table 2. Summary of a 108-d grow-out study performed in systems are a special type of 2009 with juveniles (0.99 g) Litopenaeus vannamei stocked at RAS that maintain a commu450/m3 under no water exchange nity of suspended (flocculated) Av. O2 Growth Survival Yield microalgae and autotrophic Usage Wt. Tank ID FCR and heterotrophic bacteria (LPM)* (g) (g/wk) (%) (kg/m3) (“biofloc”) together with the shrimp in limited-exchange RW (ST) 21.88 1.37 94.5 9.43 1.58 0.17 grow-out units. Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannaRW (FF) 22.45 1.37 96.6 9.63 1.55 0.27 mei) growth rates are much higher in BFT systems than in clear-water systems, and higher still at costs in shrimp production, accounting for greater floc levels. The composition of the over 50 percent of the total production costs, biofloc affects nutrient cycling. Heterotrophs it can significantly affect profitability. The and autotrophs are preferred in floc systems interactions between feed, water quality and because they provide two very important productivity have been evaluated in relation services: they assimilate ammonia and nitrite to the characteristics of each culture system (both highly deleterious to shrimp), and act as resulting in the development of specially a supplemental feed. designed feeds to enhance shrimp performance in each system. The effects of commercial feeds on water Biofloc success: a water quality and shrimp performance are important quality issue? factors affecting feed formulations. The end Feed and feeding practices are important factors affecting water quality and profit- product of feed catabolism is ammonia, which ability of any aquaculture operation, moreso can be toxic to shrimp. Ebeling et al. describe when dealing with hyper-intensive, biofloc- three pathways for ammonia removal in tradidominated systems. As mentioned above, tional aquaculture systems: photoautotrophic, shrimp can derive nutritional benefits from the autotrophic and heterotrophic. The dominant microbial aggregates in BFT systems. Studies in of these pathways in BFT systems can be our lab also showed good shrimp growth (2.4 affected by biotic and abiotic factors. With an adequate supply of organic g per week) and survival (96.8 percent) when 5 percent of the fishmeal in a 35 percent carbon, heterotrophic bacteria can quickly crude protein diet was replaced with biofloc. convert (in around 8 hours) all available However, this replacement resulted in a ammonia into bacterial biomass, a process reduction in shrimp growth (0.4 g per week) which requires a large amount of oxygen and compared to the control diet with no fishmeal the generation of high volume of bacterial replacement. Analysis of the biofloc produced biomass. On the other hand, when organic in our system suggested low protein (20.4 carbon is provided solely from feed, any percent), low fat (0.29 percent) and high ash ammonia not consumed by the heterotrophic bacteria will be slowly converted into nitrate (43.4 percent) content. Because feed represents one of the major by autotrophic bacteria. This nitrification proc-

EXPERT T●PIC

Figure 1: Ammonia-N (100 m3 RWs)

Figure 2: NO2-N (100 m3 RWs)

Figure 3: NO3-N

(100 m3 RWs)

Figure 4: Alkalinity (100 m3 RWs) ess, which consumes alkalinity as an inorganic carbon source, requires far less oxygen and produces around 40 times less bacterial biomass than the heterotrophic pathway. When operating biofloc systems under low light intensity with restricted organic carbon supply, autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria will dominate the microbial populations. These mixotrophic systems require careful monitoring and control of selected water quality to maximise production.

Figure 5: Turbidity (100 m3 RWs)

Figure 6: TSS (100 m3 RWs)

Figure 7: VSS (100 m3 RWs)

Figure 8: SS (100 m3 RWs)

2007-2011: early studies
In recent years, studies at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Mariculture Lab have focused on the use of a commercial feed made by Zeigler Bros. (HI-35, Zeigler Bros., Gardners, PA) formulated for use in highdensity, biofloc-dominated no-exchange systems for the production of market-size L. vannamei. These studies were conducted in four to six greenhouse-enclosed 40 m3/68.5 m2 raceways. Each lined raceway is equipped with a centre longitudinal partition positioned over a 5.1 cm PVC pipe with spray nozzles. Every tank had six banks of three 5.1 cm airlift pumps positioned equidistantly on each side

of the partition. In addition, each raceway had six 0.91 cm long air diffusers, a 2 hp centrifugal pump, and a Venturi injector capable of introducing atmospheric air or a mixture of oxygen and air. The following is a short summary of the progress made in operating this system over the last six years. The 2007 study was conducted in four of the raceways described above, which were equipped with the YSI 5200 inline dissolved oxygen monitoring system. The tanks were stocked to a density of 530/m3 with 1.2 g juveniles using water from a 77-day nursery trial. The study compared two methods of biofloc control: homemade foam fractionators

and settling tanks. Shrimp were fed on the HI-35 feed mentioned above. Until Day 73 (estimated 7 kg shrimp/m3), oxygen demand was met solely by the Venturi injector and atmospheric air. From Day 74 on, atmospheric air was enriched with pure oxygen. The dissolved oxygen monitoring system was instrumental in managing feed and preventing low oxygen events. All shrimp submitted for disease diagnosis showed no signs of viral infections. The results from this trial are summarized in Table 1. In 2009 a second study was conducted to determine whether or not smaller commercial foam fractionators (in the case, Aquatic Eco

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January-February 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 45

EXPERT T●PIC Systems’ VL65 fractionator) could be used to minimise the differences in shrimp final weights observed in the 2007 study. The 108day study was conducted in the same four 40 m3 raceway tanks equipped with the previously described YSI 5200 dissolved oxygen monitoring system. Raceways were filled with water from a preceding 62-day nursery study, and stocked to a density of 450/m3 with 0.99 g juveniles. Freshwater was added weekly to offset water losses. Shrimp were fed the same HI-35 feed mentioned earlier. Settling tanks and the foam fractionators were operated intermittently, targeting total suspended solids concentrations between 400 and 600 mg/L. The results showed no significant differences in shrimp final weights between the raceways operated with settling tanks and those operated with foam fractionators. Furthermore, no statistically significant differences were found in shrimp performance between treatments (see Table 2). In an effort to reduce production costs (e.g. the use of pure oxygen and electricity) the lab began to test non-Venturi injectors for aeration and mixing in two 100 m3 raceways under biofloc conditions. These injectors (a3, All Aqua Aeration) are currently used in several wastewater treatment facilities in the United States and require little maintenance compared to other aeration and oxygenation methods. This technology may be successfully transferred to biofloc and other types of aquaculture systems. Based on the manufacturer’s specifications, the injector provides a 3:1 air-to-water ratio, compared with the <1:1 capacity of our Venturi-driven system, which requires the use of pure oxygen to maintain desired dissolved oxygen levels at high biomass loading Table 4. Summary of mean final weight, weekly growth, yield, survival, (> 6 kg/m3). Each FCR, and water usage from a 67-d grow-out study of Litopenaeus tank was equipped vannamei in 40 m3 greenhouse-enclosed raceways operated with no water exchange. with 14 injectors, and one injector Yield Survival Av. Wt. Growth Water Use powering a homeFeed FCR made foam frac(kg/m3) (%) (g) (g/wk) (L/kg shrimp) tionator for biofloc control. Raceways HI-351 9.74 87.3% 22.12 2.03 1.25 124.7 were stocked to a density of 270/m3 SI-352 8.71 88.3% 19.74 1.76 1.43 138.3 with 8.5 g juveniles Diff 1.03 2.38 0.27 0.18 13.6 and were fed the Zeigler Bros. HI-35 1RWs where shrimp were fed the HI-35 Zeigler Bros. feed 2RWs where shrimp were fed the SI-35 Zeigler Bros. feed feed. At the end of the 87 days of the 2010 trial, a yield of 6.4 kg/m3 Table 5. Summary of Litopenaeus vannamei) performance following a was obtained from 63-d grow-out period in two 100 m3 raceways using the a3 injectors for mixing and aeration. marketable shrimp (26.1 g), with 90.1 Stocking Harvest Growth Survival Yield Water percent survival RW FCR Use rate and a feed (Juveniles (g) (g) (g/wk) (%) (kg/m3) (L/1 kg) /m3) conversion ratio of 2.46. The trial in 2011 1 500 3.6 22.76 2.13 80.82 9.20 1.43 139.5 was conducted in five of the 40 2 500 3.6 22.67 2.12 78.19 8.86 1.53 148.9 m3 raceway tanks Average 22.72 2.12 79.50 9.03 1.48 144.2 described above, filled with a mixture of seawater and biofloc-rich water previously throughout the 106-day duration of the study. used in a 42-day nursery trial. Salinity in four of The results are summarised in Table 4. the tanks was adjusted to 18 parts per thousand using chlorinated municipal freshwater. 2012: trials point to Raceways were stocked to a density of 500 commercial viability shrimp/m3 with 1.90 g juveniles. For compariThe studies in 2012 used both systems for son, a fifth tank was operated with salinity of the production of marketable shrimp. The first 30 parts per thousand, and stocked with 1.40 study was conducted in six 40 m3 raceways g juveniles stocked at a density of 500/ and had four objectives: m3. All raceways were stocked with 1. Evaluate the effect of two commercial Table 6. Summary of production and sales for feeds on juvenile shrimp produced shrimp from a Fast-Growth line providsuper-intensive biofloc dominated no exchange from a cross between Fast-Growth and ed by the Oceanic Institute, Makapuu shrimp production systems comparing the results from the 2011 trial to the 2012 trials. Taura-Resistant lines Point, Hawaii. Shrimp were fed the 2. Monitor the changes in selected water same HI-35 feed as in previous studies. HI-35 SI-35 HI-35 quality indicators under no exchange The raceways were operated with no 100 Treatment 2011 40 m3 40 m3 m3 3. Monitor L. vannamei performance under water exchange throughout the study. high density and no exchange Results from this study showed high 4. Evaluate the benefit of using the YSI yields of food size shrimp, with good Stocking density 500 500 500 500 5500 continuous dissolved oxygen growth, survival and FCR (see Table 3). (Juvenile/m3) 0% 0% 0% monitoring system with optical probe The second 2011 trial was conductSurvival rate 87.3 88.2 79.5 81.6 in operating a biofloc-dominated, supered in the two 100 m3 EPDM rubber(%) +7.0% +8.1% -2.6% intensive shrimp production system lined raceways, each filled with a mixGrowth rate 2.03 1.76 2.13 1.85 The second study took place in the two 100 ture of seawater, municipal chlorinated (g/wk) +9.7% -4.9% +15.1% freshwater, and biofloc-rich water from m3 raceway tanks and had three objectives: Stocking size 2.7 2.7 3.6 a previous nursery study. The tanks 1. Evaluate the performance of the same 1.8 (g) +50% +50% +100% were stocked with 390 shrimp per juvenile shrimp used in the previous Harvest size 22.3 19.8 22.7 3 m study under the same stocking den, with Taura-resistant L. vannamei 23.6 (g) -5.5% -16.1% -3.8% sity when fed the HI-35 feed under no juveniles (1.90 g) supplied by Shrimp 1.25 1.43 1.48 exchange Improvement System, Florida. Shrimp FCR 1.43 -12.6% 0% +3.5% 2. Further evaluate the ability of the a3 were fed the same HI-35 feed used Crop length 67 67 63 in previous studies. Raceways were injectors to maintain adequate mix83 (days) -19.3% -19.3% -24.1% equipped with the YSI 5200 dissolved ing and dissolved oxygen levels in a 9.74 8.71 9.03 Production oxygen monitoring systems and were high-density, biofloc-dominated, zero9.58 +1.7% -9.1% -5.7% (kg/m3) maintained with no water exchange exchange conditions
46 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | January-February 2014

FEATURE EXPERT T●PIC helpful tool inthe increasing the moisture content 3. Evaluate benefit of using the YSI 5200 allowed by the minimum activity. continuous dissolved water oxygen monitoring Moreover, water the isotherm system in the operating systemand moistureWe sample can at be reducing used to calculate the alsodata aimed FCRs below moisture target and the control limit. the values achieved in upper the previous trials, For most through dried products, the feeding. portion of the primarily continuous isotherm at and well below the critical water 3 raceway The six 40 m tanks were filled activity of 0.65 is linear, giving proporwith a value mixture of water used in a apreceding tional relationship between water activity and 49-day nursery study, seawater and municipal moisture content. A simple linear freshwater to reach a salinity of equation 30 parts can be usedtank to determine the water pertherefore thousand. Each was equipped with activity from the moisture content, ora a smallvalue commercial foam fractionator and vice versa. The isotherm in Figure 1 shows homemade settling tank. Shrimp used in this that a moisture content of 8.92 percent will study were produced from a cross between give a water activity 0.65. For this product, Taura-resistant and of Fast-Growth genetic lines then, 8.9 percent wouldImprovement be the upper Systems. control developed by Shrimp limit. Raceways were stocked with 2.66 g juveniles To give an example, using a standard As seen in the equation above, a reduction supplementation Table 7. Summary of production and sales for the extrapolated deviation 0.6 and the above upper control in the standard deviation will commercial result in an while of avoidscale super-intensive biofloc dominated no exchange shrimp production limit of 8.9 use. percent, and three standard increase in the target moisture. The results ing excess operation, with 2011 trial results compared to three 2012 trials. deviations, you would receive a target mois- of this are increased production and energy Concentrations SI-35 40 HI-35 100 ture level ammoof 7.12 percent. With current 2011 savings. HI-35 40 of total 3 m3 that through m3 dryer control methods, only 0.14 percent Assume, m for example, nia-nitrogen of moisture samples would have a chance improved dryer control the standard deviaremained kg/crop 38,960 by 30 34,840 of exceeding the upperProduction, control limit. Many 38,320 tion was reduced percent, to 36,120 0.42 (see below 0.5 mg/L users of statistical methods Table 3). The new target moisture would throughout the process control Crops per year 4.4 5.5 5.5 5.8 will use 2 or 2.5 standard deviations in the be 7.66 percent, 0.54 percent higher than study, while Production, kg/year 168,608 214,280 191,620 209,496 target moisture calculation, giving targets of the previous figure of 7.12. As this shows, NO 2-N level MT/year 169 214 control 192 209 7.42 percent and 7.72 Production percent respectively improved dryer – obtained by drying remained below (see The key values here are the with cooler temperatures and being careful 1.22 Table mg/L 2). with Selling price, $/kg 7.20 7.20 7.20 7.20 percentage of samples that may be statisti- not to over-dry the product – can allow a safe no significant Total Sales per year, $ 1,213,978 1,542,816 1,379,664 1,508,371 cally above the upper limit. increase in average moisture levels, resulting differences in a 0.5 percent production increase. Cooler between treatTable 2: Results of altering the number of temperatures would and also result in final weights, yields, growth, FCR for the ments. While solids were controlled by the drying standard deviations on target moisture shrimpsavings. fed with the HI-35 feed. This study use of the foam fractionators and settling energy calculation tanks, levels of total suspended solids, turbid- showed that market-size shrimp can be proTable 3: Number of standard deviations vs Number solids levels in the duced with no water exchange, and although ity and volatile suspended % target moisture, withbetween improved standard of Standard the cost difference the HI and SI SI Target treatment remained significantly higher UCL above moisture standard deviation deviation values than the HI treatment. These results UCL may be feeds was significant ($1.75/kg vs. $0.99/kg), a deviations related to the higher levels of non-digestible preliminary profitability analysis indicates that Number feeds would be with components in the SI-35 feed fibre and ash. both Target ofcommercially Standardviable % above UCL the profit advantage in favor of the HI feed. Oxygen use for the HI treatment was 21 7.12 8.92 3 0.6 0.14 moisture standard deviation UCL The second deviations trial lasted 63 days and was percent to 0.6 the SI treatment 7.42 lower 8.92 compared 2.5 0.62 and the volume of water used to produce conducted in the two 100 m3 raceway tanks 7.72 8.92 2 0.6 2.28 1 kg of shrimp was slightly lower for the HI described earlier. The tanks were initially With athan method treatment the SI. of calculating target filled with8.92 a mixture 7.66 3 of seawater, 0.42 municipal 0.14 moistures andof upper control limits in place, Analyses shrimp performance based chlorinated freshwater, and biofloc-rich water 7.87 8.92 2.5 0.42 0.62 we give data attention to optimising dryer on can harvest (see Table 4) showed no from a previous nursery study. Whereas the 8.08 8.92 2 0.42 2.28 control to reduce the moisture variance. differences in survival rate, but better mean juvenile shrimp (3.14 g) in the 2011 study

Sample variance performed with three replicates using a semi-

at a density of 500 shrimp/m3. The study was

The target value had must35 also take intensive feedmoisture (SI-35) which percent into account variance between Here, crude protein, 7 percent lipid samples. and 4 percent the moisture sample history feed can (HI-35) be usedwith to fibre, and a hyper-intensive calculate a standard deviation: standard 35 percent crude protein, 7 ±3 percent lipid deviations from the average will produced account for and only 2 percent fibre, both by nearly 100 percent of samples. The moisture Zeigler Bros. target can then betanks calculated the upper The raceway were using maintained with control limit and the number of and standard no exchange throughout the study freshdeviations required. water was added to compensate for water Target moisture = UCL – N(s.d.) losses. Oxygen supplementation was initiated control limit until termination. onUCL: Day Upper 17 and continued N: No. standard deviations The YSI of 5500 monitors and their optical s.d.: Standard of thereal-time product samples probes alloweddeviation trouble-free, oxygen

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EXPERT T●PIC
Table 8. Summary enterprise budgets for the super-intensive biofloc dominated no exchange shrimp production systems comparing the best 2011 trial with the three 2012 trials, in $/kg. 2011 HI-35 40 m3

Gross Receipts Variable Costs Income Above Variable Cost Fixed Cost Total of All Specified Expenses Net Returns Above All Costs Payback period, years Net present value ($ mil.) Internal Rate of Return (%)

7.20 5.38 1.82 0.59 5.97 1.23 2.9 1.0 31.3

7.20 4.06 3.14 0.47 4.53 2.67 1.4 2.9 66.6

were of a Taura-Resistant strain and stocked at 390 juveniles per m3, the shrimp (3.60 g) used in the current study were a cross produced from Taura-resistant and Fast-Growth genetic lines, stocked at a density of 500 per m3. The shrimp were fed a HI-35 feed using four 24-hour belt feeders for each raceway. The tanks were maintained with no water exchange and freshwater was added weekly to maintain salinity and compensate for evaporative losses. Mean water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and pH levels were 29.6 °C, 29.3 ppt, 5.5 mg/L, and 7.1 respectively. Total ammonia nitrogen and NO2-N remained low throughout the study, <0.6 mg/L and <1.5 mg/L respectively, while NO3-N increased from 67 mg/L at stocking to an average of 309 mg/L at harvest. Shrimp were harvested using a Magic Valley Heli-Arc mechanical harvester. The study results are summarized in Table 5.

Analysis: promising results point towards production refinements
Production of shrimp in indoor superintensive recirculating systems can produce large quantities of shrimp but can have high initial investment and operating costs. Economic analyses of the 2012 trials in the two production systems used by the Texas A&M maricul-

ture lab have been very encouraging. Production results for the best trial run in 2011 and the SI-35 HI-35 three trial runs in 2012 40 m3 100 m3 are presented in Table 6. Using production results and extrapolating 7.20 7.20 them into the context 4.54 4.31 of a commercial facility, 2.66 2.89 10-year cash flows and enterprise budgets were 0.53 0.48 developed to provide 5.07 4.79 comparable financial 2.13 2.41 indicators of profitability (cost of production, 1.9 1.6 net return, net present 2.0 2.6 value, internal rate of 50.1 60.6 return, and payback period). For this hypothetical analysis one greenhouse system contains 10 raceway tanks: eight 500 m3/m2 raceways for grow-out, and two 500 m3/m2 raceways for the nursery phase to culture ten-day-old postlarvae to the 2.7 g or 3.6 g juvenile shrimp used in our simulations. Analyses include a fixed cost component covering construction, equipment and machinery costs of around $992,000. Other critical prices and costs include shrimp selling price ($7.20/ kg), feed cost ($1.75 and $0.99/kg), juvenile production costs ($20 per thousand), and an interest rate of 8 percent for operating, equipment and construction loans. The economic questions to be answered by this analysis are: • Whether the production results are financially positive, given that one feed is much more expensive than the other feed • Whether progress was made between the 2011 and 2012 trials in improving the profitability of these super-intensive, recirculating, biofloc shrimp production systems Table 6 summarises the production and sales for the 2011 trial compared to 2012 trials. Table 8 summarises the enterprise budget based on 2011 and 2012 results, and indicates a positive net return per kilo of shrimp

produced. The three 2012 trials had lower variable production costs than the 2011 trial’s variable cost. Likewise, the payback period was less for these same trials than for the 2011 trial. All NPVs were two to nearly three times greater than the 2011 trial, and the IRR for the 2012 trials were much higher than the ROI for the 2011 trial. Thus, the answers to the two economic questions posed earlier, are: • The more expensive HI-35 feed financially outperformed the lower-priced SI-35 in the 40 m3 and 100 m3 trials • The improvements on the 2011 trials made for 2012 resulted in a much better financial performance Now, the old adage ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is’ may be at work here. The highly favourable financial results from the 2012 trials need to be accepted with care as a couple of major assumptions are being used in this type of analysis. First, the model assumes there is a readily available year-round ten-dayold postlarvae supply (which may be difficult to achieve in the continental United States), and secondly, research trials using these systems have yet to actually conduct back-toback-to-back production cycles. Water re-use issues should also be taken into account (e.g. for how many production cycles the same water can be used until complete replacement or major polishing is needed to maintain balanced ionic composition). Also, the energy use to produce 1 kg of shrimp in each system will have to be evaluated to determine which system is more economically viable. Although one research crop per year is an accomplishment, to actually produce 5.8 crops per year (the result for the HI-35 100 m3 trial) with the same high level of output is much more difficult to achieve. These caveats are large and need to be addressed. However, in the meantime the financial analyses conducted here using a tested bio-economic model, together with current positive research results, can help researchers focus their efforts on the factors where improvement will provide the most return, helping to sharpen the competitiveness of these intensive biofloc shrimp systems.

48 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | January-February 2014

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