Honduras-based shrimp producer Grupo Granjas Marinas is rolling out a new farming process on more of its sites, Victor Wilson, its CEO, told Undercurrent News.
The company — which produces 28 million pounds (12,700 metric tons) of live weight vannamei annually — has introduced the system to 100 hectares of its farms and is planning to roll it out to 300 more hectares, Wilson said.
According to Wilson, the system is improving production by increasing the survival rates of its juvenile shrimp.
Granjas Marinas has 6,200 ha of farm area in total and 3,000 that could be developed. “We are, ultimately, looking to roll this system out to all the ponds, over five or size years,” he said.
The multi-phase inventory management system (MIMS), as the company has dubbed the approach, means a 25 ha pond is split into three 8 ha sections, with a 1,500m2 covered greenhouse area, said Wilson.
This means the shrimp inventories are transferred from smaller to larger areas as the shrimp grow in order to use more efficiently the productive area. As a result, predation of small shrimp is reduced, as is stress, Wilson.
This method also means feeding is more efficient, as the specific feed for each stage of the growth can targeted to shrimp of the right size.Granjas Marinas new shrimp farming system
Although the move is not linked directly to early mortality syndrome (EMS) prevention, the outbreak of EMS in Asia and then in Mexico “maybe made us focus more on advancing MIMS”, Wilson told Undercurrent.
“If the shrimp are less stressed, then they are less susceptible to diseases, such as EMS,” said Wilson, who credits Brian Boudreau, the group’s head of aquaculture as the innovator of MIMS.
The shrimp post larvae start in “phase one” of the process in the covered greenhouse area (pictured), where they grow to 0.50 grams.
Then, they are moved into the central pond, where they are grown to 8 grams.
This is where the main innovation from Boudreau comes in.
In the central pond, the shrimp are grown to 8g, before being transferred to the grow-out ponds on either side, by a transfer station, designed by Boudreau.
“The idea is that we build a home for the animal which is suitable for them when they are a certain size,” said Wilson.
“The idea is to better manage the feed process and also protect the animal when it is at its most vulnerable.”