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by Jessica S. McDunn, University Relations


Researchers at the Oceanic Institute, an affiliate of Hawai‘i Pacific University, expect to harvest a record amount of shrimp this week from their biosecure round pond at Makapu‘u Point.

Shrimp have been grown in a 0.08-acre pond for about 14 weeks and researchers hope to harvest an estimated 9,000 pounds of market-size shrimp. “This record harvest represents the culmination of our research efforts and is a significant milestone in shrimp aquaculture,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson, president of Oceanic Institute.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oceanic Institute and its research partners developed a super-intensive production system which is environmentally sustainable and produces high-quality, disease-free shrimp for the U.S. consumer. “Our biosecure production system relies on minimal water exchange. This approach not only protects the external environment because there is no effluent, but it also protects the shrimp by preventing the introduction of disease-causing agents into the shrimp culture environment,” said Dr. Shaun Moss, director of the Shrimp Department.

The shrimp production technology developed by OI researchers not only results in a large amount of shrimp being produced in a small amount of space, but it requires considerably less electricity and equipment than other recirculating aquaculture systems operating around the world. In addition, OI’s technology allows for the production of shrimp inland, away from sensitive coastal areas.

“ We are very excited about this trial because we have produced more than 11 kilograms of shrimp per square meter of space,” said Mr. Clete Otoshi, growout manager of the Shrimp Department. “This technology is appropriate for Hawai‘i, where land costs are high, as well as at more temperate latitudes on the mainland because we can grow shrimp indoors. This technology will allow shrimp farmers to grow fresh shrimp near large markets like Los Angeles or New York.” An increase in the domestic production of farmed shrimp will help supply the huge demand for shrimp products in the U.S., which has resulted in a federal trade deficit of more than $3 billion.

Oceanic Institute has donated some of the harvest to Waimanalo Health Clinic and Job Corps. The remainder will be sold to local seafood distributors and the proceeds will be used to support continuing shrimp-related research at Oceanic Institute.

Oceanic Institute, an affiliate of Hawai‘i Pacific University, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to research, development and transfer of oceanographic, marine environmental, and aquaculture technologies. The largest marine aquaculture research institution in the U.S., Oceanic Institute is a world leader in conducting applied research in aquaculture production and marine resource conservation.

For more information, visit Oceanic Institute at www.oceanicinstitute.org.



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