One of the few industries where trillions of animals have been raised and managed.
Compare one 6 kilo salmon every three years. For that weight and in that time one is managing a thousand 20g shrimp. The numbers coming out of shrimp hatcheries globally are in the billions and have been for many decades.
With a 12 month turn over on life cycle (to gather resistance and to shake off any diseases), a geographic global farming spread, different seasonality and the possibility to shore up supply chain with a finished product freezing capability of up to 24 months, there is an easy bounce back from any diseases.
Which is why prices stay more or less within a fixed band. With the ability to buy same product from many different localities there is a great flexibility of offer to the demand in markets. This can mean playing producers off each other to get best deal and results in commodity low prices.
Genetic focus in hatcheries started for vannamei started with survival rates – a necessary competitive step when trying to compete with the economics of wild high performing seed. It was also because hatcheries were initially paid bonuses on numbers coming out not on quality of larvae.
This is why the stress test on shrimp coming out of hatcheries was developed.
However, and in reality, it has always been a numbers game. This same numbers game can overcome the survival quest and growth performance of shrimp is really the main requirement from farmers.
So all this talk about shrimp disease from people trying to get either into the industry or tout their positioning, is bullshit in the bigger picture. The main worry is low commodity prices globally and lack of downstream support by importers and distributors to promote farmed shrimp into the markets.
The genetics and 4.0 guys need to stop playing the disease card and look at shrimp growth and adaptation to alternative protein conversion capabilities.