Marine crustacean aquaculture is largely dominated by the penaeid shrimp which in the year 2000 represented a production of more than 1 million tons, that is 86 % of all farmed marine crustaceans. Crabs represented 11 % of the other farmed species, with the remainder concerning mainly spiny lobsters.
The most recent estimations published in “World Shrimp Farming” in 2004 give a production of nearly 2 million tons of farmed shrimp, which is almost as much as the fishing industry. Production would have practically doubled in 5 years.
Shrimp farming in ponds using juveniles raised in the sea has existed for a number of centuries in Asia, but obtaining the eggs of females in captivity is relatively recent (half a century). During the nineteen seventies, the control of reproduction in hatcheries, followed by the growing out in ponds, has literally led to an explosion in the production which now represents nearly half of the world consumption.
The production is dominated by just a few countries :
- China recently took the lead with Penaeus chinensis et Litopenaeus vannamei
- Thaïland, Indonesia and Vietnam with the tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon)
- Brazil and Ecuador with the white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)
- India (Penaeus indicus et monodon)
- France is way behind with its New Caledonia production (2000 tonnes de Litopenaeus stylirostris in 2003) and a few dozen tons of kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus) in continental France, but strict quality criteria are applied here.
A few comments on freshwater aquaculture :
The giant freshwater prawn ( Macrobrachium rosenbergii) is a freshwater or low saline water crustacean whose production in South East Asia has a non-negligible hold on the international market (a little less than 400,000 tonnes in 2000). Research undertaken by Ifremer has led to the development of fish farming in the Overseas Departments and Territories.
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