December 14, 2011
A group of scientists at the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), specialists of the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca) and producers from Sonora managed to farm white shrimp through a mariculture system.
After several months of research in the open sea, the team succeeded in designing and building floating cages for the experimental cultivation of shrimp. For the first time in the country, the evidence obtained with this technique facilitated an initial harvest of 4.7 tonnes of the crustacean.
According to Conapesca, this experience will increase food production in the 17 states of the country that have coastlines and generate more jobs. In addition, it will help to strengthen the income of families who depend on this fishery.
As part of the White Shrimp Mariculture Project, two farming phases were developed at the same time:
350,000 post-larvae were stocked in a cage to observe their growth; In another one, 270,000 organisms were farmed to analyse their adaptation and evolution in captivity.
After 16 weeks of permanent monitoring with representative sample, biometrics specimens were obtained with sizes ranging from 14 to 16 grammes.
The positive outcome achieved was also the result of the participation of Free Fishermen's Union of the State of Sonora (Uples), of the Institute of Aquaculture of the local government and of Produce Sonora Foundation.
In Mexico, white shrimp have been farmed in aquaculture centres for years. In Sonora, in particular, there are over 20,000 hectares in which this activity takes place with an annual production exceeding 70,000 tonnes.
The volume produced is enough to meet the internal sector's needs and those of the processed industry.
According to the Statistical Yearbook of Aquaculture and Fisheries, about 167,000 tonnes of shrimp are produced on average per year. Of that total, about 62,000 tonnes represent the shrimp caught at sea and about 104,000 tonnes come from aquaculture farms.