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Over 90% of shrimp culture in the western hemisphere is represented by whiteleg shrimp (Wurmann et al., 2004). Since 1991, Thailand has been the worlds leading shrimp exporter, with black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) being the most common cultured marine shrimp from the 1990s until 2004 (Limsuwan and Chanratchakool, 2004). However, since the introduction of the Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) into the country, shrimp farming in Thailand has been undergoing a dramatic transformation. Currently, Pacific white shrimp is rapidly replacing the black tiger shrimp as the main farmed species. The main reason for this change is that L. vannamei has a faster growth, higher stocking rate and yield and incurs lower production costs compared to P. monodon. The physical characteristics of L. vannamei are what make it promising aquaculture species. High growth rates as well as wide salinity and temperature tolerances make this species of choice (Briggs et al., 2004). Marine shrimps are traditionally cultured in coastal or estuarine waters. L. vannamei inhabits and/or has been cultured in coastal waters ranging in salinity from 1ppt to 40ppt (McGraw et al., 2002). However, inland culture is now being done in many countries (Davis et al., 2004). The culture of Pacific white shrimp has been widespread along the eastern coast of the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to Northern Peru and is the most commonly cultured shrimp in the western hemisphere (Rosenberry, 2000). The commercial culture of shrimp in low water salinities has been successfully achieved. However, scanty information on long-term studies on the growth response of shrimp culture in freshwater. In this part of country, no research has yet been done on the long-term growth performance of L. vannamei (post larvae) in freshwater (0ppt) culture, including the effect of

stocking density at different density rates. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the growth and survival of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) post larvae cultured in freshwater at different stocking densities.

Culture of Whiteleg Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) Post Larvae In Freshwater at Different Stocking Densities

Ellen T. Bagsac

An Undergraduate Thesis Proposal Submitted to the Faculty of the College of Fisheries Mindanao State University

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Course Fish 198 (Research Methods)


Whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, Boone 1931), also known as Pacific white shrimp which belongs to the family, Penaeidae, is native to the eastern Pacific coast from Sonora, Mexico in the North, through Central and South America as far as Tumbes in Peru (Rosenberry, 2002), in areas where water temperatures are normally greater than 20C throughout the year. This species inhabits and is being cultured in coastal waters with a salinity range from 1 to 40ppt (McGraw et al., 2002). The preferred salinities for L. vannamei ranged from 1-8ppt for the post larval shrimp. It has been shown that the actual salinity that L. vannamei can tolerate is from 0.5-45ppt but it does best in a range between 7 and 34ppt (Briggs et al., 2004). L. vannamei can grew from 1.2g to about 20g in 120 days at a stocking density of 25 shrimp/m. L. vannamei has the potential to grow as fast as P. monodon (at up to 3g/week) up to 20g (the maximum size of L. vannamei usually cultured) under intensive culture conditions. L. vannamei is amenable to culture at very high stocking densities of up to 150/m in pond culture, and even as high as 400/m in controlled recirculated tank culture. Although such intensive culture systems require a much higher degree of control over environmental parameters, it enables the production of high numbers of shrimp in limited areas, resulting in better productivity of vaannamei culture (Wyban and Sweeny, 1991). Successful culture of white shrimp depends on the quality of seawater used in the system, as well as use of a wastewater treatment plant to prevent pollution of adjacent areas. A number of factors have limited expansion of white shrimp culture, including the high cost of coastal real

estate and the constant appearance of viral diseases such as white spot(WSSV), which has brought the industry near collapse (Jory and Dixon). One proposed solution to white shrimp production problems is the use of water with salinities lower than seawater. Using water with 0.5ppt salinity, Van Wyk et al. (1999) reported survival and growth rates below those with seawater. In evaluations of post larvae survival as a function of age in salinities varying from 16.3 to 0ppt, both McGraw et al. (2002) and Saoud et al. (2003) reported increased survival as the organisms reached 15 days old at salinities greater than 4ppt, but only 77% survival at 0ppt. Samocha et al. (2004) and Sowers and Tomasso (2006) reported growth higher than in seawater using low salinity (2ppt) water. Several studies have demonstrated normal growth and survival of intensively farm-reared L. vannamei if the salinity of the water is maintained not lower 4ppt throughout the culture period (Limhang, 2005). In the study of Araneda et al. (2008), white shrimp was cultured in freshwater(0ppt) at three densities(90,130 and 180shrimp/m) and they have concluded that white shrimp can grow and survive in freshwater(0ppt) at intensive densities with the lowest studied density of 90shrimp/m. It was possible to produce organisms with an average individual weight of 11.2g and a survival rate of 76.1% at 210 days of culture. They also concluded that the reduction in growth and survival rates as density increased is probably due to competition for space and feed, and negative social interactions creating an inhibitory effect. Under freshwater conditions, white shrimp can be cultivated without the need to increase salinity to maintain growth and survival rates. Freshwater white shrimp culture could reduce pressure on coastal areas from this activity and provide disease incidence below that of marine culture systems.