Sustainable Aquaculture and Stock....
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GRANT NUMBER: NA67FD0030           NMFS NUMBER: 95-SER-009

REPORT TITLE:  Sustainable Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement for the Native White Shrimp, Penaeus setiferus

AUTHOR: Stephen Hopkins and David Whitaker

PUBLISH DATE:  October 1, 1998

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721 Executive Center Drive, St. Petersburg, Fl 33702.  TELEPHONE: (727) 570-5324


The sustainable shrimp aquaculture technologydevelopment efforts were designed to reduce the potential for adverse impacts of shrimp aquaculture on the environment and wild shrimp stocks. The approach is to develop techniques for production of the native white shrimp, Penaeus setiferus, which will achieve growth and production rates comparable to the Pacific coast white shrimp, Penaeus vannameiPenaeus vannamei has become the species of choice for commercial shrimp farmers in the United States due to its rapid growth on available feeds and the availability of high health supplies of postlarvae for stocking growout ponds.  However, there are increasing problems with the health status of these seed and seed supply continues to constrain the industry.  Another concern associated with the farming of the non-native Penaeus vannamei relates to the inherent potential for escapement.  Some fear that the Pacific coast shrimp may become established along the Atlantic coast or that it will naturally hybridize with native shrimp.  Both naturalization and hybridization could disrupt the coastal ecosystem. The mainstay of the shrimp fishery in South Carolina is white shrimp, Penaeus setiferus. White shrimp spawn in near-shore waters in the spring. The coastal marshes provide nursery habitat through the summer months and the large shrimp move out of the estuaries in the fall.  A portion of the population remains in the deeper sections of the sounds and bays through the winter and become the spawning stock which begin the cycle anew the following spring. However, South Carolina is at the northern extreme of the range of this species and in an unusually cold winter these overwintering shrimp are killed by low water temperatures. The loss of these spawners results in reduced recruitment and a smaller than normal population of young-of-the-year.   Because Penaeus setiferus is an important species with respect to commercial and recreational harvest, not to mention its role in the coastal ecosystem, anthropologic management measures which mitigate the loss of overwintering stock to low temperatures may have a far-reaching effect.

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