Feed and Feeding: Management Key Factors for Sustainable Shrimp Business

Data from Shrimp Submit has indicated a global  shrimp production of 5,476,000 metric tons in 2023 in which Vietnam shrimp production is  estimated at 600,000 metric tons, just after India (650,000MT), China (1,295,000 MT) & Ecuador (1,402,000 MT). Shrimp feed consumption in 2023 in Vietnam is estimated a little over 900,000 metric ton with 90% market share coming from; Shenglong & Longshseng group, CP group, Grobest, Uni-President, Tongwei, Growmax, Deheus & Viethoa together with growing companies such as Haid & Newhope. However, in recent years, the shrimp industry has faced several challenges to the sustainable growth of the industry, including:

  1. Postlarvae quality is not standardized for pathogen￾free supply, for super growth, and for disease resistance.
  2. The environment of the Mekong Delta and coastal shrimp farming areas in the Central andNorthern regions is increasingly polluted with changes in harsh and extreme weather due to climate change.
  3. After Covid, along with shipping risks due to the Russia-Ukraine war, increased input costs of many manufacturing industries, including shrimp feed production costs, pushed up shrimp feed prices while Ecuador and China have increased shrimp production that has pushed down shrimp prices, causing more difficulties for shrimp farmers in Asia.
  4. Dangerous diseases in farmed shrimp are becoming more difficult to control due to antibiotic resistance and May/June 2024 FEATURES | 15environmental extremes, making shrimp more susceptible to stress triggers and implementing solutions for the daily treatment of shrimp diseases more difficult.

In order to better solve the above challenges and to produce shrimp more sustainably, basic solutions on improving quality of shrimp post larvae, irrigation reconstruction, responsible shrimp farming technologies, especially feed production, and better feeding programs would contribute for a more sustainable shrimp business.

Unlike the extensive shrimp farming practices in Ecuador with very low stocking density at 10-20 shrimp/m2, shrimp farming practices in Vietnam is very intensive with stocking density at 1,000-3,000 post larvae/m2for the nursery and 150-300 shrimp per m2 for grow-out phases. At high density, shrimp’s growth rate and health is totally dependent on shrimp pellets while extensive farming practices in Ecuador shrimp relied more on natural foods in ponds and therefore, shrimp pellets do not require high nutrient density as that of shrimp feeds in Asia.

At high density for nursery (1,000-3,000 post larvae/m2), shrimp is more stressful and therefore we need to provide a hatchery equal-quality feed together with healthy nutrients to help shrimp fighting with stress triggers to overcome disease challenges. Then a high density for grow-out phase up to 30g or to bigger size of 50-60g, a feed and feeding strategy is needed to shorten the culture cycle and to improve success crops as well as to reduce production costs. This approach should be as proposed bellow:

  1. Premium quality and functional feed for the nursery (50% protein diet).
  2. High-quality & functional feed (42% protein diet) up to day 45 (expect 10g shrimp).
  3. Standard or Economic feed from day 45 to day 100 (38% protein diet) up to 30g shrimp.
  4. Super-growth feed (45% protein diet) to shorten culture time from 20g ending at bigger size up to 50g or 60g.

The difference between high-quality feed and standard feed is the nutrient density and digestibility, especially protein digestibility based on amino acids, concentration and quality of cholesterol and phospholipids, and the fatty acids and vitamins and minerals – and these must be higher than standard feed. Functional feed first must be high-quality feed and added with health nutrients from bioactive protein and functionally health additives such as the following:

  1. Anti-stress and antioxidant: biopeptides, nucleotides, carotenoids, vitamin E, vitamin A, VitaminC, Vitamin D3.
  2. Antibacterial: biopeptides, phytogenics.
  3. Immunostimulant: β-1,3-1,6 glucan, Mos, yeast extracts.
  4. Gut health and digestion: organic acid, enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, essential oil.
  5. Heal support to hepatopancreas: taurine, choline chlorides, sorbitol, myo-inositol, L-amino acids, vitamin C, E, A, D3 and organic selenium.

Different quality raw material and functional additives would be suggested for different feeds as bellow:

Premium & functional feed and super-growth feed

Imported high-quality fishmeal (Denmark, Peru,Chile,…), high-quality soybean meal (dehulled SBM).High-quality wheat flour (36% gluten minimum) together with wheat gluten to avoid chemical binders from the supplement.Bioactive protein (MOTIV) needs to be at 10% minimum to provide enough biopeptides, organic acid, carotenoids and high-quality protein.

Yeast cell wall extracts & yeast, Spirulina, krill meal, algae meal and supplement of nucleotides, and astaxanthin, cholesterol (min 0.15%) & phospholipids (min 1.5%), high-quality fish oil to secure minimum EPA/DHA at 1% in diet. Vitamins and minerals need higher inclusion, especially the vitamin A, C, E, D3 and organic selenium.

Standard or Economic feed line

Good-quality fishmeal from local sources and lowash poultry meal at low inclusion (max 5%). Bioactive-protein MOTIV at minimum 5% to boost ADG (average daily growth), reduce FCR (feed conversion rate) and to improve survival rate.

Argentina and/or Brazil soybean meal (min 46% protein) and standard wheat flour (min 32% gluten) plus binders. Attractants can be used from fish soluble and squid paste, squid liver powder, etc.

Vitamins, minerals and fish oil rich in EPA/DHA

Cargill Branded Feed is a division of Cargill that creates functional, macro feed ingredients for different industries that focus on gut health to promote efficient gain, better nutrient uptake and digestive health.

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