Genetic surprises still out there for shrimp?

…….perhaps, as my good friend Mark Leslie (RIP), and co-founder of the Ecuadorian Hatchery Row biologists club, said, “perhaps we can get vannamei shrimp with reduced antennae size, to squeeze them into higher density culture. Or perhaps a shrimp with one head and two tails, to get twice the meat”

Novel human gene mutations here

Can same be said for vannamei shrimp in the wild…? Or is it going to be CRISPCas9?

Kill them to see if they will die…how SPF shrimp were initially selected from the natural gene pool.

“Kill them to see if they will die” was the takeout from the shrimp genetics guys in the industry at that time in the late 1980s.

Yes, the French (FA) had stressed shrimp in their Tahiti R&D facility and come out with some number like 35 possible viruses and diseases for vannamei.

Simple survival of the fittest and accelerated natural selection was modus operandi, with those that survived becoming founders for breeding.

This is possible due to the rapid t/o life cycle of vannamei and sheer numbers of offspring one could play with.

So when I artificially inseminated and spawned two vannamei on a beach in Mexico in 1988 that was the SOP. The fertilized eggs were put in a plastic bin. No EDTA, no algae, no water exchange.

Busy building the first shrimp hatchery with maturation at that time, those shrimp were fed a local mix of fresh marine feed (Chuki secret formula) and at PL15 there were 15,000 survivors. A survival rate of around 5% for the two females.

Of course vannamei are not found in the US and the US Shrimp Consortium had just raised $50m from the US Senate, with a big push from Arizona to get into shrimp genetics.

So I hosted several visits from experts like Dr Lightner (Shrimp disease expert) to explain how we had developed the systems in Ecuador. The idea was to get high health offspring, robust and that could perform.

The vannamei seed coming out of maturation units initially were weak in the early 1980s. The use of wild gravid females and naup stations were what had led to the shrimp farming growth explosion in Ecuador removing much of the wild seed seasonality and environmental costs.

The industry in Ecuador thus had a breathing space to start looking at enhanced natural selection for maturation.

The 15,000 PLs from Mexico were sent to Dr Lightner at landlocked University of Arizona where he declared them specific pathogen free (SPF). All existing US commercial stocks thereafter were destroyed and these shrimp were moved to the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii, where a female called Griselda gave rise to the Kona SPF vannamei strain.

From that same hatchery in 1989 I had a batch of PLs for a farm in Texas. Dr Lightner came and took a sample of shrimp fixed with Davidsons and from same tank a live sample. The fixed sample were declared virus free. The live sample, were declared not SPF. My conclusion to Dr Lightner was that the problem must have expressed itself due to poor husbandry by his team. After all artificial seawater, who knows what feed, stress on aeroplane transmitted to shrimp…..but no! import to US denied.

Statements were issued with the US declaring that the all wild vannamei globally were infected and that they had the only stock of SPF vannamei on the planet.

Great commercial spin trying to corner the market from a scientific viewpoint.

To me shows that SPF is only as good as the husbandry used. This is also why once out of a controlled SPF facility the status was downgraded to high health for commercial purposes – just in case.

At WAS and other conferences thereafter shrimp and genetics was the sexy thing to discuss at the time. More than likely because it was high tech and transferable.

The laying down of US rules and the associated technology push was important as industry commercial control had been shown successful in other protein industries, in fact other industries.

At the time I likened the marketing to the Windows operating system which ran off a disk operating system (DOS). The background operating system for shrimp was the survival of the fittest setup that was used to get those 15,000 PLs. The SPF program the Windows marketing to the shrimp public.

The SPF founders were from artificially inseminated (AI) females and not from wild gravids. They were grown on a special diet. So already quite a bit of stress. The females were non ablated.

Interestingly first SPF from US that went to Ecuador (now why would you that with such a large natural pool available?) was a failure.

Ecuador, since then, has sucessfully continued it’s growth without SPF.

Continued use of a wild biodiverse genetic pool to enhance or test shrimp populations makes sense.

Lest we forget – SPF removed from an SPF certified facility are not SPF anymore!

So how many certified SPF shrimp grow-out facilities for commercial production are there on the planet?

It seems more like a breeders/hatchery movement.

Not sure I know of many. While many may use SPF as exclusion, limitation and thus regulatory purposes don’t know any certified SPF through to harvest.

Australian comments on blog stop at SPF quarantine and hatchery facilities.

FFF – PrawnMaster Championship Offshore Challenge.

End of month.

…and its not about Fish Free Feed, or about Fuck Fake Friends or the French Football Force..

It is Prawnmasters Forward Foresight Future shrimp challenge. Yes one for the alt 3F Shrimp (Prawn) playbook is offshore, ocean culture in areas where same shrimp fished.

It it an insight? Is it a foresight? Is it AI?

No! its a Prawnmaster commentary and prediction…

We all note the salmon farming strategy – salmon dominates current Aquaculture news/ corporate / business / PR / CSR agendas just like Bexit – exit due date today btw for those disconnected.

This chase of future growth areas by a move upstream to landbased, RAS and the use of nurseries is laudable and salmon industry can learn a lot from the shrimp industry technology, where these systems are embedded in the dna of responsible players and industry for past 40 years. In salmon everyone is jostling and looking for the next “space”.

Yes laudable to drive technology. Prawnmaster stipulation would be, that for exotic species to be grown then, market approved containment technology should be mandatory. If farmed in areas where locally fished containment rules need not apply.

Exclusions and limitations could apply but as purely commercial considerations.

However, the future for shrimp farming growth apart from increasing production is to go in the opposite direction and look for growth in the ocean space.

Yes downstream into the offshore ocean space.

Current shrimp aquaculture industry is jostling for increased productions from same land based footprint. It is a race to the bottom chasing a commodity from within same old same old survival, growth rates, genetics, health and nutrition spaces.

Shrimp technology future move into ocean space will be to help alleviate many constraints. Environmental. Planetary. Space. IT robotics.

Prawnmastersblog – Brexit due date.