Saturday, April 13News That Matters

Black Tiger Prawn Farming New Techniques

Black Tiger Prawn farming has become a vital component of the global seafood industry, supplying a significant portion of the world’s demand for these delectable crustaceans. However, the rapid expansion of shrimp aquaculture has not been without its challenges. One of the most pressing concerns is the environmental impact of shrimp farming, particularly in brackish water ponds. Pollution management has emerged as a crucial aspect of sustainable shrimp production to reduce the ecological footprint and protect shrimp farmers from potential losses during disease outbreaks. This article will explore the Black Tiger Prawn farming process and the innovative techniques that are revolutionizing the industry.

Understanding the Importance of Pollution Management

Before delving into the specific techniques and technologies used in Black Tiger Prawn farming, it’s essential to grasp the significance of pollution management in shrimp aquaculture. Pollution management addresses the release of pollutants, such as excess nutrients and harmful microorganisms, from shrimp farms into the surrounding ecosystem. The impact of such pollution can be devastating, leading to the degradation of water quality, the spread of diseases, and the loss of shrimp populations. These issues not only harm the environment but also jeopardize the livelihoods of shrimp farmers.

To put the importance of pollution management in perspective, it’s worth noting that it accounts for approximately 9% of the annual shrimp production cost per hectare for farmers. While it might seem like a significant financial burden, this cost is justified when considering the potential consequences of failing to manage pollution. Disease outbreaks, in particular, can lead to catastrophic losses for shrimp farmers, making investment in pollution management a wise choice.

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Black tiger prawns grow this big

Now, let’s explore the various innovative techniques and technologies that Black Tiger Prawn farmers employ to minimize pollution and enhance the sustainability of their operations.

  1. Lowered Stocking Density

Traditionally, shrimp farmers aimed to maximize stocking density in their ponds to achieve higher harvest volumes. However, Black Tiger Prawn farmers have realized that lowering stocking density can yield substantial benefits. While this approach may decrease the harvest volume by 20-30%, it leads to larger-sized shrimp and improved feed conversion rates. Reducing feeding and nutrient loading by 20% not only lessens environmental impact but also decreases the risk of opportunistic diseases.

  1. Pond Bottom Management

Effective pond bottom management is crucial for pollution control and disease prevention. While additional costs may incur for plowing or tilling and net cage construction, these expenses can be offset by the sale of additional fish crops. This approach not only improves the sediment’s bacterial profile but also enhances water effluent quality and reduces pathogenic Vibrio counts.

  1. Crop Rotation

Crop rotation involves alternating shrimp farming with fish culture. While it may result in the loss of one shrimp crop, it generates income from fish farming. More importantly, crop rotation enhances sediment bacterial profiles, reduces Vibrio counts, decreases the incidence of white spot disease, and allows organic waste to break down effectively.

  1. Improvement in Feed Quality

The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) has developed nutritionally enhanced diets with lower nitrogen and phosphorus discharges. Farmers can also incorporate probiotics into their feeding regimes to improve the health of the shrimp and the overall water quality.

  1. Stocking of Laboratory-Screened Fry

While screening and analyzing fry for diseases come at a cost, it’s a proactive measure that reduces the risk of white spot and pathogenic Vibrio infections, ultimately safeguarding the shrimp population.

  1. Use of Greenwater Technology

Implementing green water technology may reduce the culture area by 25-50%, necessitating a more extensive reservoir and modifications to the water supply channel. However, the advantages are stable water quality and the suppression of pathogenic Vibrio growth. Furthermore, selling fish raised in the reservoir can offset the initial expenses.

  1. Use of Probiotics in Water and Feed

While adding probiotics to water and feed may increase the cost, it produces healthy, antibiotic-free shrimp. This approach also improves water quality and reduces sludge accumulation, reducing the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.

  1. Increase in Aeration

Investing in aerators, which costs P150,000 to 200,000 per hectare, leads to a 50-60% increase in power consumption. However, the benefits are faster shrimp growth, improved feed conversion, higher dissolved oxygen levels, and reduced accumulation of noxious metabolites.

  1. Use of Settling Ponds

Settling ponds incur an additional P2,500 to 5,000 per hectare per year. They help lower the load of suspended solids in effluent water and reduce sediment accumulation in receiving waters.

  1. Employment of Biosecurity Measures

Biosecurity measures, such as pond sanitation, carrier exclusion devices, filters, and worker hygiene, cost an extra P15,000 to 20,000 per hectare per year. However, these measures significantly reduce the risk of introducing viral diseases to the pond facility.

Technology Profile for Black Tiger Prawn Farming

Implementing the innovative techniques mentioned above requires re-engineering the farm layout and specific pond preparation, stocking, maintenance, and harvesting steps. Here is a detailed technology profile for Black Tiger Prawn farming:

  1. Re-engineering the Farm Layout

To enhance sustainability, provide a more extensive reservoir for holding effluents. Allocate a portion of the nearby mangrove area for this purpose. Introduce sedimentation and biological treatment ponds containing fish, bivalves, and seaweeds to help process effluents.

  1. Pond Preparation

Begin by draining the ponds completely. Level the pond bottom, dig peripheral and central canals, and let it crack dry. Remove the accumulated black sludge from the previous cropping, flush the pond with water, then drain it. Apply agricultural lime at 2 tons per hectare or hydrated lime at 0.5 to 1 tons per hectare. Till the pond bottom, compact it, and install central and side sludge collectors. Place catwalks and feeding trays in grow-out ponds, then let in water. Position the aerators and pumps. Use tea seed powder at 50 kg per hectare to control predators and competitors. Fertilize with dried chicken or cow manure at 300 kg per hectare and urea (45-0-0) at 18 kg per hectare using the “tea bag” method.

  1. Stocking Biomanipulators

In the reservoir (25% of the grow-out farm), stock biomanipulators such as all-male tilapia and milkfish at 5,000 to 10,000 fish per hectare. Hold water for at least a week before using it in grow-out ponds.

  1. Acclimatization

In the grow-out ponds, acclimate then stock disease-free shrimp (at least postlarvae day 18) at a rate of 25 pieces per square meter. This stocking density has been found to provide the highest net profit per hectare at P1.8 million. Lower stocking densities of 15 pieces per square meter yield P1.1 million, while higher densities of 40 pieces per square meter result in only P0.6 million. Biomanipulators can be stocked inside walled net enclosures (10 x 10 x 1.5 meters) in the middle of the grow-out ponds, allowing them to feed on sludge deposited by paddle-wheel aerators. Similar enclosures can also be used on the pond’s sides.

  1. Follow the Usual Pond Routine

Adhere to the feed manufacturer’s instructions for feeding, sample stock regularly to adjust feeding demand, and consistently monitor water quality and bacterial populations. If probiotics are part of your strategy, follow the application rate on the label. Operate the aerators from 6 pm to 6 am for optimal results.

  1. Discharging Water

In the low discharge system, a small amount of water is discharged from the grow-out pond and released into the sea after passing through settling or mangrove impoundments. To be effective, pond effluents must be held in mangroves for six hours or more.

  1. Water Circulation

The recirculating system reuses effluents from the grow-out pond after passing through a treatment pond. Water is fully circulated by pumping twice, first from the head reservoir to the grow-out pond and then from the treatment pond to the grow-out pond.

  1. Filtration System

Treatment ponds are designed to filter the effluents from the grow-out ponds. Install baffles to act as mechanical filtration units and settle suspended solids. Biofilters, such as oysters, the seaweed Gracilaria, and green mussels, are stocked in the treatment ponds to absorb dissolved nutrients. Finally, a filter box fitted with a two-hp submersible pump at the end of the pond will be installed to complete the filtration process.

  1. Harvesting

Drain the ponds entirely and harvest the shrimp in 4-5 months. After harvesting, chill and sort the shrimp before packing them for the market. The average weight of the harvested shrimp should be at least 25 grams.

The Future of Black Tiger Prawn Farming

Black Tiger Prawn farming is at the forefront of sustainable shrimp aquaculture, implementing innovative techniques and technologies to minimize pollution and environmental impact. By prioritizing practices such as lower stocking density, improved pond bottom management, crop rotation, and probiotics, Black Tiger Prawn farmers are reducing their environmental footprint and producing healthier, more resilient shrimp.

Integrating greenwater technology, settling ponds, and biosecurity measures further enhances the industry’s sustainability and disease resilience. While these methods may require initial investments, they ultimately result in more stable water quality, lower disease risks, and reduced pollution.

Adopting these advanced practices in Black Tiger Prawn farming demonstrates that environmental responsibility and profitability can go hand in hand. As the global demand for seafood continues to rise, the aquaculture industry must embrace sustainable and environmentally friendly methods to ensure the long-term viability of shrimp farming.

In conclusion, the Black Tiger Prawn farming process is a shining example of how innovation and sustainability can transform an industry. By implementing these techniques and technologies, shrimp farmers are safeguarding their businesses against disease outbreaks and contributing to a healthier planet. As the industry continues to evolve, even more groundbreaking methods will likely emerge, further solidifying the position of Black Tiger Prawn farming as a leader in sustainable aquaculture.

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