Saudi Arabia – a Mecca for vannamei production….and algal meals for the shrimp?

With Saudi looking to diversify from oil and a Vision 2030 program in place shrimp farming is set to increase dramatically in near future.

Saudi Arabia targets 200,000 MT / year output by 2025

What more do you need than access to pristine water, sun and abundant land? Well you need the right operational team and the quality feed.

The leader in Saudi is NAQUA – well known in the global industry and there are quite a few licensed sites now and initiatives are underway to develop and ramp up production.

Prawnmaster has just completed a visit to two potential sites this past week – and can confirm that things are hotting up in the region.

Of course, and like any shrimp project, there is complexity and the most important critical success factor is to have the right team in place to take these projects forward.

The shrimp science is known already and to take the businesses to truly profitable operations it is important to have in place the experienced hard working operational and productive individuals in place.

However currently quality and well priced local shrimp feed is a constraint to being fully competitive on the global stage. Raw materials also need to be imported into Saudi.

There is a drive in aquaculture to replace fishmeal with alternatives – bacterial floc meals, SCP’s grown on methane, algal meals and insects. Of special interest is a recent move to growing algae, not for human consumption but as a plant based alternative to feed stock and to replace fishmeal and fish oils. Expensive high purity thus is not as important.

The Saudi region should be well placed to get on board and drive the technology here to look at local algal production that would be used to avoid importation of raw materials for shrimp feed. Growing algae is not dissimilar to growing shrimp – and shrimp hatcheries have been growing pure algal strains for shrimp for decades – now it is a question of taking this to the logical next stage and growing the algae apart, cost effectively de-watering it with appropriate technology and using it for growing out larger shrimp.

Vannamei is the ideal shrimp as it is omnivorous – plant based vegetarian grown shrimp. Why not!