Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns

Litopenaeus vannamei

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Global
Production method — All
Certification — ASC
Picture of Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns

Sustainability rating three info

Sustainability overview

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. Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification addresses many of this issues making it a better seafood choice. Look for the green tick ASC label on pack.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: -2

Although the intent of the ASC Standard is that all marine and terrestrial feed inputs should be sustainably or responsibly sourced, this is not 100% obligatory as yet as it is not currently feasible for all producers. The Standard has been designed with a phase in period in place: this allows for these goals to be realistically achieved on a timescale that is in tandem with ongoing improvements in the supply chain. Once these sourcing requirements becomes obligatory, the MCS Feed score for ASC certified producers will improve.

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Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: -2 

Although the intent of the ASC Standard is that all marine and terrestrial feed inputs should be sustainably or responsibly sourced, this is not 100% obligatory as yet as it is not currently feasible for all producers. The Standard has been designed with a phase in period in place: this allows for these goals to be realistically achieved on a timescale that is in tandem with ongoing improvements in the supply chain. Once these sourcing requirements becomes obligatory, the MCS Feed score for ASC certified producers will improve.

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Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: -1

Although the ASC Standard addresses fish welfare concerns indirectly, welfare is not specifically addressed and requirements for humane slaughter are not mentioned.

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Management

Criterion Score: 4

Matters pertaining to the regulation and management of farms are generally addressed well by the ASC Standard.

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Production method

All

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. Intensive pond farming has a higher stocking density of prawns and requires the use of inputs such as feed and therapeutants as opposed to traditional extensive systems.

Biology

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.

References

ASC Shrimp Standard. Version 1.0 March 2014. Available online at:https://www.asc-aqua.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ASC-Shrimp-Standard_v1.0_FINAL_Layout_changes.pdf

FAO 2006-2018.Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Penaeus vannamei. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Text by Briggs, M. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 7 April 2006. [Cited 10 September 2018]

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Farmed Shrimp report, 2004. Available online at: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/shrimp?q=Shrimp&t=shrimp

F. Paez Osuna (A): The environmental impact of shrimp aquaculture: a global perspective. Environmental Pollution 112 (2001) 229-231
F. Paez Osuna (B): The Environmental Impact of Shrimp Aquaculture: Causes, Effects, and Mitigating Alternatives. Environmental Management (2001) Vol. 28, No. 1

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Seafood Sectors - Shrimp. Available online at: http://www.sustainablefish.org/global-programs/seafood-sectors/seafood-sectors-shrimp and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjRlAs-cKgY

FIFO ratios explained. Available online at: http://www.iffo.net/system/files/EAS%20FIFO%20September2009%202_0.pdf

ASC: Draft standards for responsible shrimp aquaculture 2011