Shrimp industry grew up with algae.
Managing algae in pond culture for healthy shrimp culture is part of the commercial production.
The industry pioneered intensive volume algae culture in its hatchery sector in commercial production.
1989 pictures of Prawnmaster Mexico algal culture site construction
1990 pictures of Prawnmaster Mexico algae culture
Shrimp farming is an effective method for extracting and converting algae protein from the environment into a human food.
Now circling back the industry is looking at concentrated algae culture apart as a feed-stock ingredient and potential replacement for fishmeal and fish oils. Pioneering again.
If only the price would come down. Algae for human and culinary use is just too expensive. Industry does have problem to scale – even with prices as ridiculous as they are.
Those promoting it do say it it down to species under culture and purity of culture (read quality).
Technology like these Photo-bioreactors (PBR’s) do have their place in our industry (in hatcheries) but we need to look to lower the cost to become a raw material for shrimp grow-out feed on farms – and so industry can also fully dis-associate it from the Oceans.
Here open pond culture is the way forward together with Prawnmaster’s argument that the level of purity is not required as for direct human consumption if destined for feeding shrimp. Similar to pet food.
That leaves scaling up more of a technical problem. The problem being how to take the algae out of the water in a cost effective manner. There are many ways – DARPA & NASA have explored. One least expensive way seems to be via forward osmosis – which could be ideal for desert algae farming. Think of it like how Heinz thicken tomatoes into ketchup.
There are plenty of industries that will benefit and yes algae will save the world – at least it can help here in an area that covers half of humanities food.
Even ex-New Wave Foods founder is promoting algae as in ….”the intricacies of scaling up from a cottage industry to commercial production.”
Personally I am still waiting to see growth of her ex-cottage industry alt shrimp start-up….
My understanding is that Tyson took a stake because an enemy to their enemy must be their friend………shrimp compete with chicken all the time.
The reason Beyond Meat did not take a stake in New Wave Foods was, understandably about market potential. No-one goes in to a place and orders an alternative to healthy shrimp. Not to say that there is not room – as a cottage industry niche player.
Everyone loves shrimp and they are good for you.
Shrimp is a great transitional protein as we try to move away from red meats.
….and lest we forget growing shrimp in algal ponds does give a better FCR and return than even chicken. With chicken being better than carnivorous farmed salmon.
If algal blooms are the problem perhaps sinking some night lights down to exercise PAT – Passive Aeration Technology where the heated water rises and creates currents while the lights stop the algae consuming the oxygen…
Wavelength dependant turbidity water culture.
Not just for polluted wastewater but harnessing low energy forward osmosis for algal concentration and harvesting…
Replace fishmeal in shrimp industry.
Copepods fed algae. Algae absorb carbon dioxide.
Great marketing angle.
So why just starter feed? Skip out the copepods and use algae direct.
….and not just starter feed but as fishmeal replacement.
With Saudi looking to diversify from oil and a Vision 2030 program in place shrimp farming is set to increase dramatically in near future.
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!