Intensive shrimp farming system ‘ready to launch’

December 13, 2012, 2:00 pm

An intensive shrimp-farming technology developed by US scientist Addison Lawrence has acquired patents and is ready to be rolled out commercially both in the US and further afield, Lawrence said.

Testing of the innovative technology, which stacks shrimp raceways on top of each other to boost production efficiency, has been completed, and proved hypotheses correct, Lawrence told Undercurrent News.

The stacked raceway system can produce 1 million pounds of shrimp per acre footprint of water per year, he said.

The system has gained a patent in the US, has patent pending in the EU and other countries, and has attracted interest from several companies looking to put the technology to use commercially, said Lawrence.

“We have several very interested commercial groups interested in using the technology to develop shrimp farms in the United States, and we have several groups interested in developing farms outside of the US,” he said.

The investment offers are in the millions of dollars, and include four interested companies in the EU, he revealed.

Lawrence said the next step for the project is for the interested companies to sub-license the technology and start building, as the system itself is ready to launch.

Lawrence with his patented technology - all photos credited to Patty Waits Beasley

The system he has developed uses stacked, shallow raceways to farm shrimp with either zero water exchange or recirculation, and can produce high numbers of shrimp, including large ones.

“We’re able to produce jumbo size shrimp, each weighing 1.1 ounces, known as U15 shrimp, which gives us world record production of up to 25 kilograms of shrimp per cubic meter of water,” he said in a statement released during the testing stages.

The system bears a resemblance to that used by Marizca, the UK-based startup run by PhD students at University College London.

But Lawrence believes his system of stacking raceways one on top the other is much more efficient than the deeper raceways he says are used by Marizca.

“Visualize the additional costs of putting in a shallow tray above their existing system,” he said. “How much additional cost is that going to take? Not very much, probably around 20%, and yet putting in a single tray on top of that one, you've doubled production. Then put another on top of that one, and another on top of that one...”

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