Prawn, Tiger prawns (Farmed)
Production country — Indonesia
Production method — Zero input system
Farmed tiger prawn accounted for over 70% of the global consumption of the species in 2013. 99% of production comes from developing countries. Intensive prawn/shrimp farming is associated with a number of negative environmental impacts which are of concern, these 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 particularly in SE Asia. However, there is a significant amount of International work being undertaken at present to address and improve feed production and sourcing. There are also concerns regarding the current regulatory framework and level of enforcement for aquaculture production in some countries. The rating provided applies at a country/regional level and MCS recognises there is a diversity of practices and producers of warmwater prawn, some of which may be working to improve their practices. In these exceptional cases MCS would encourage support of these producers provided, and only if, a commitment to improvement which ultimately leads to achieving a recognised production standard can be verified.
Criterion Score: 5
Giant tiger prawns produced in extensive silvofishery systems consume a diet of naturally-occurring pond biota, such as phytoplankton and zooplankton. Since supplementary food is not provided, silvofishery systems have no reliance on wild-capture fisheries; this is possible since stocking densities are extremely low (no more than 5 fry per m3). In contrast to more intensive production techniques that use commercial diets, silvofishery yields are very small in comparison to their land footprint.
Criterion Score: -1
One of the primary negative environmental drivers of Asian prawn production, including giant tiger prawn, has been the use of illegal chemicals and antibiotics by the sector, coupled with ineffective regulatory control. Since no chemicals are used in zero input systems this boosts their environmental performance score considerably. A further benefit of extensive production systems is that discharged effluents have little environmental impact; in fact, when stocking densities are very low, shrimp/prawn ponds are typically net removers of nutrients from the environment. Asian giant tiger prawn producers contribute significantly to soil salination, which impacts livelihoods and food security, and this production parameter, and its potential to cause negative impact. Although shrimp and prawn farming have historically been responsible for large-scale mangrove removal, this destructive practise has greatly diminished as awareness of its detrimental impacts has grown. The giant tiger prawn sector in Indonesia, primarily stock hatchery produced juveniles; these hatchery facilities are reliant on wild-caught broodstock and the status of wild stocks is unknown. 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. While escapes inevitably occur, this species is native throughout the region and escapees are not thought to pose a genetic or competitive threat to wild stocks. Data deficiency concerning predatory control measures warrants a precautionary approach when applied to the sector.
Fish Health and Welfare
Criterion Score: 0
Immersion in an icy slurry is used as a method to kill the prawns at harvest. Although this is a standard industry practice, it is unclear if this method is aligned with the RSPCA’s definition of humane slaughter.
Criterion Score: 1
Overall, although there are a multitude of legislative instruments in place to govern the aquaculture sector in Indonesia, these regulatory frameworks can only be said to be partially effective in minimizing negative environmental impacts and in some instances there is evidence that these regulations are ineffective. Although management of mangroves has improved greatly over recent years, more effective enforcement of legislation is required in order to safeguard these valuable habitats.
Zero input system
Farming prawn in natural zero-input production systems, sometimed called silvofisheries, relies on the natural productivity of the surrounding environment to provide feed.
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
Crawfish, Red Swamp
Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi
Mussel, mussels (Farmed)
Oyster, Native, oysters (Caught at sea)
Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)
Oyster, Pacific, oysters
Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns
Prawn, Northern, prawns
Prawn, Tiger prawns (Farmed)
Scallop, King, scallops
Scallop, Queen, scallops
Squid, Japanese flying
The tiger prawn belongs to the largest of the prawn and shrimp family, the Penaeidae. 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 11 months. They can live up to 2 years in the wild although farmed prawns are usually harvested at 6 months.
ReferencesAbdul-Aziz MA, Schfl G, Mrotzek G, Haryanti H, Sugama K, Saluz HP. 2015. Population structure of the Indonesian giant tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon: a window into evolutionary similarities between paralogous mitochondrial DNA sequences and their genomes. Ecol Evol. 2015;5(17):3570-84. Accessed online at:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4567862/
Briggs M. 2005. Introductions and movement of two penaeid shrimp species in Asia and the Pacific (No. 476). Food & Agriculture Org. Accessed online at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0086e/A0086E00.htm#TOC
Chakraborti J, Bandyapadhyay PK. 2011. Seasonal incidence of protozoan parasites of the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) of Sundarbans, West Bengal, India. J Parasit Dis. 2011;35(1):61-5. Accessed online at:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114977/
FAO. 2013a. Culprit behind massive shrimp die-offs in Asia unmasked. News article 3 May 2013, Rome. Accessed online at:http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/175416/icode/
FishSource. 2018. Shrimp Indonesia: East Kalimantan - updated 15 December 2018. Accessed online at:https://www.fishsource.org/ama_page?id=13
HPC. 2018. The Happy Prawn Company Accessed online at:https://www.thehappyprawn.co
Lightner DV, Redman RM, Pantoja CR, Tang KFJ, Noble BL, Schofield P, Mohney LL, Navarro SA. 2012. Historic emergence, impact and current status of shrimp pathogens in the Americas - Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 110 (2),pp.174-183. Accessed online at:https://arizona.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/historic-emergence-impact-and-current-status-of-shrimp-pathogens-
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. Accessed online at:https://repository.seafdec.org.ph/bitstream/handle/10862/877/ficcpps_p079-103.pdf;jsessionid=C1415EE435DBA5CECEAA7885D46ABA36.jvm1?sequence=1
MBA. 2017a. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch assessment of Farmed Whiteleg Shrimp grown in ponds in Vietnam Accessed online at:http://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/reports/s/mba_seafoodwatch_farmedvietnam_shrimp.pdf
MBA. 2017b. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch assessment of Giant Tiger Prawn and Giant Freshwater Prawn grown in ponds in Bangladesh Accessed online at:https://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/reports/s/mba_seafoodwatch_farmedshrimp_bangladesh%20report.pdf
MBA. 2015b. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch assessment of Farmed Whiteleg Shrimp grown in ponds in Indonesia Accessed online at:http://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/reports/s/mba_seafoodwatch_indonesia_shrimp_report.pdf
RSCIP. 2010. Responsible Shrimp Culture Improvement Program - RSCIP - Indonesia. Accessed online at:https://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/rscip_indonesia_program_summary.pdf
STIP. 2018c. Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal: Shrimp in Indonesia. Accessed online at:https://seafood-tip.com/sourcing-intelligence/countries/indonesia/shrimp/
TFS. 2018a. The Fish Site - How to improve seafood welfare at slaughter - by Rob Fletcher, March 16 2018. Accessed online at:https://thefishsite.com/articles/seafood-welfare-at-slaughter-explained
Telegraph. 2012. The Telegraph: Protective shells: tiger prawns from Sumatra, By Rose Prince - 12 Mar 2012. Accessed online at:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/9137938/Protective-shells-tiger-prawns-from-Sumatra.html
TheFishSite. 2016. The Challenge of Shrimp Diseases in Asia. Accessed online at:https://thefishsite.com/articles/the-challenge-of-shrimp-diseases-in-asia
Walker PJ, Winton JR. 2010. Emerging viral diseases of fish and shrimp. Veterinary Research Volume 41(6);Nov-Dec 2010. Accessed online at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2878170/