Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns
Production country — Global
Production method — Pond system
Certification — Soil Association and EU Organic certification
Organic Certification Standards for prawn set comprehensive standards for production which includes third party auditing and site inspection, the production standards cover hatchery production and feed production. Organic standards require that the number of negative environmental impacts associated with prawn farming are addressed in their production standards. In general issues of environmental concern include: Impacts on ecologically sensitive habitats; the risk of salinisation of freshwater bodies; discharge of organic matter and nutrients leading to environmental changes; the use of chemicals and therapeutics in production and the potential of disease transfer between farmed and wild prawns. Marine prawns are carnivorous requiring high protein inclusion on their diet, this is one of the most critical concerns regarding prawn farming as the supply of fishmeal and fish-oil being used is in general not traceable to species level and is not certified sustainable. With organic prawns their is no dependency on wild capture fisheries for direct use into feeds as all marine ingredients are sourced from by-products of human consumption fisheries.
The organic production of L. vannamei production in Ecuador and Honduras relies upon both marine and terrestrial feed ingredients, organic standards require traceability and organic origin of the terrestrial ingredients, with marine however, despite the encouragement of by-product use whole fish are permitted to be used for feed production. There is no requirement for whole fish going into feed production to be certified as sustainable, however farmers in this region typically use commercial feeds produced by well-established, global feed companies that are demonstrably striving towards using 100% responsible feed inputs within the next two years.
Criterion Score: 0
Unlike some parts of the world, where shrimp farming has been responsible for large-scale mangrove removal, farms in Ecuador and Honduras have mainly been sited on coastal salt flats, away from mangrove zones. Due to the criteria within the organic standards and the relatively low stocking densities employed, chemical use is low and antibiotic use is minimal. Likewise, feed inputs are also commensurately low, and effluents reportedly do not generally cause negative environmental impacts. L. vannamei are native to the region and the sector is reliant on hatchery production of PLs, which in turn are the progeny of domestically raised broodstock. While shrimp are susceptible to an array of diseases, particularly viral pathogens, it is notable that direct environmental impacts of shrimp viruses have not been commonly observed. Non-lethal predatory controls would appear to be the norm within the sector but data is limited in this area.
Fish Health and Welfare
Criterion Score: 1
Extensive provision is made for fish welfare and humane slaughter within organic production standards.
Criterion Score: 4
As a result of the significant impact diseases had on the sector during the 1990s, present-day shrimp farmers in Ecuador and Honduras mainly favour semi-intensive production practices. These historical disease issues also prompted greater scrutiny of the regulations governing the sector and resulted in a more robust legal framework being put in place. However, a review of the sector indicates that current governance may not be adequately resourced to effectively manage the potential environmental impacts of the industry, particularly as the sector expands and production increases. Although organic standards address many of the production practice specific issues the issues of overarching regulation and management of the sector remain unchanged.
Prawn /shrimp are farmed in saline/brackish water ponds of various sizes and intensities in many countries , either in coastal areas or inland within or outside the intertidal zone.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.Abalone
Clam, Manila (Farmed)
Crab, brown or edible
Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi
Mussel, Chilean (Farmed)
Mussel, mussels (Farmed)
Oyster, Native, oysters (Caught at sea)
Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)
Oyster, Pacific, oysters (Caught at sea)
Oyster, Pacific, oysters (Farmed)
Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns
Prawn, Northern prawns, Northern shrimp
Prawn, Tiger prawns (Farmed)
Scallop, King, scallops
Squid, Japanese flying
The king prawn (or whiteleg prawn, white shrimp) belongs to the largest of the prawn and shrimp family, the Penaeidae. It is a native species of the Eastern Pacific coast. Its lifecycle may be divided into 6 stages or phases, from embryo to adult, which it completes in one year. The age of sexual maturity varies from 5 to 7 months. They can live up to 2 years in the wild although farmed prawns are usually harvested at 6 months.
ReferencesREGULATION (EU) 2018/848 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 30 May 2018 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007. Available online: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018R0848&from=EN. Accessed: 01/05/2019
Soil Association (2019) Organic aquaculture Standards 2019, Version 18 Applicable 7th May 2019. Available online at: https://www.soilassociation.org/media/18614/aquaculture-standards.pdf. Accessed 01/05/2019
BioMar. 2017. Sustainability Report: Shaping the Futurehttp://www.biomar.com/globalassets/.global/pdf-files-_en/biomar_gri-report_2017_web_medium2.pdf
FAO. 2018. Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics. Global aquaculture production 1950-2016 (FishstatJ). In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 2018. www.fao.org/fishery/statistics/software/fishstatj/en
FAO. 2013a. Culprit behind massive shrimp die-offs in Asia unmasked. News article 3 May 2013, Rome. http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/175416/icode/
FAO. 2013b.National Aquaculture Legislation Overview. Honduras. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview (NALO) Fact Sheets. Text by Spreij, M. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 1 January 2013. [Cited 30 October 2018].http://www.fao.org/fishery/legalframework/nalo_honduras/en
FAO. 2005. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview. Ecuador. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview (NALO) Fact Sheets. Text by D'Andrea, A. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 11 January 2005. [Cited 30 October 2018].http://www.fao.org/fishery/legalframework/nalo_ecuador/en
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Lightner DV. 2011. Virus diseases of farmed shrimp in the Western Hemisphere (the Americas): A review. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 106(1), 110-130.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49737436_Virus_diseases_of_farmed_shrimp_in_the_Western_Hemisphere_the_Americas_A_review
Lightner DV. 1985. A review of the diseases of cultured penaeid shrimps and prawns with emphasis on recent discoveries and developments. In Taki Y., Primavera J.H. and Llobrera J.A. (Eds.). Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Culture of Penaeid Prawns/Shrimps, 4-7 December 1984, Iloilo City, Philippines (pp. 79-103). Iloilo City, Philippines: Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. https://repository.seafdec.org.ph/bitstream/handle/10862/877/ficcpps_p079-103.pdf;jsessionid=C1415EE435DBA5CECEAA7885D46ABA36.jvm1 sequence=1
MBA. 2015. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch assessment of Farmed Whiteleg Shrimp grown in ponds in Hondurashttps://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/reports/s/mba_seafoodwatch_honduras_farmed_shrimp_report.pdf
MBA. 2014. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch assessment of White Shrimp grown in coastal ponds in Ecuadorhttps://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/reports/s/mba_seafoodwatch_farmedshrimp_ecuador_report.pdf
MCS. 2018. Scoping Document: Warm-Water Prawns - P. monodon & L. Vannamei (22nd May 2018) (Archived in-house Marine Conservation Society document
OMARSA. 2018. Company website of Ecuadorian shrimp farm http://www.omarsa.com.ec
SNI. 2015a. Shrimp News International - Shrimp News Interviews Dr. James Wyban The Father of SPF Shrimp http://www.shrimpnews.com/FreeReportsFolder/HistoryFolder/HistoryUnitedStates/DrJamesWybanFatherOfSPF.html
SNI. 2015b. Shrimp News International - Ecuador: USA Government Report on Ecuadorian Shrimp Farming in 2014, August 31 2015 http://www.shrimpnews.com/FreeReportsFolder/NewsReportsFolder/EcuadorUSDAReportOnEcuador2014.html
STIP. 2018. Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal: Shrimp in Ecuador https://seafood-tip.com/sourcing-intelligence/countries/ecuador/
Saborio Coze A, Flores Nava A. 2009. Review of environmental impact assessment and monitoring of aquaculture in Latin America. In FAO. Environmental impact assessment and monitoring of aquaculture. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 527. Rome, FAO. pp. 395-454. http://www.fao.org/tempref/docrep/fao/012/i0970e/i0970e01e.pdf
Seafish. 2015. Responsible Sourcing Guide: Marine Warm Water Prawns http://www.seafish.org/media/1403324/_2_warm_water_prawns_rsg_cocker_-_04-15kg.pdf
TFS. 2018a. The Fish Site - How to improve seafood welfare at slaughter - by Rob Fletcher, March 16 2018 https://thefishsite.com/articles/seafood-welfare-at-slaughter-explained
TFS. 2018b. The Fish Site - shrimp Farming Sustainability Launched - by Rob Fletcher, March 12 2018 https://thefishsite.com/articles/shrimp-farming-sustainability-initiative-launched
Tacon AGJ, Jory D, Nunes A. 2013. Shrimp feed management: issues and perspectives. In M.R. Hasan and M.B. New, eds. On-farm feeding and feed management in aquaculture. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 583. Rome, FAO. pp. 481-488. http://www.fao.org/tempref/FI/CDrom/T583/root/18.pdf
UCN 2017. Global feed giants in huge expansion in Ecuador as shrimp production rockets By Matilde Mereghetti Oct. 19, 2017 17:54 BST https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2017/10/19/global-feed-giants-in-huge-expansion-in-ecuador-as-shrimp-production-rockets/
Walker PJ, Winton JR. 2010. Emerging viral diseases of fish and shrimp. Veterinary Research Volume 41(6); Nov-Dec 2010.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2878170/