For shrimp farmers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras there is more to worry about than just the sort of feed that they are using. They are doing all they can to draw attention to something else that could make life difficult for them and that is water quality.
Too often appears that it is just feed that is blamed for anything that goes wrong, but the reality is that there are a number of factors that can be looked to if there is a problem with quality or production performance. The idea that there is the need to look further afield than feed was brought up this week at the National Aquaculture Association of Honduras’ Central American Aquaculture Symposium (SIMCAA) in Tegucigalpa by Jesus Venero, who is the head of Global Aquaculture Technology at Cargill Animal Nutrition.
Venero explained that there is nothing that can be done through feed if the shrimp is not already genetically predisposed to meet a certain growth rate. He went on to explain how important environment management is and simply by changing the water and making sure that the shrimps are not overfed, it will be possible to reduce the number of poor quality shrimp that appear on the market.
During the presentation that was given by an aquaculture water quality specialist Carlos Tay who is also an international sales manager with DISAGRO said that the worst culprit when it comes to diseases in shrimps is the poor quality of the water they have to live in.
According to Tay there are reports that show that there are still too many shrimp farmers who are more concerned about giving the shrimp the right food, rather than checking that the water their shrimp are living in is up to standards and not going to do more harm than good.
He said that the problems that can be found in water are ammonia, oxygen issues, phosphorus and acidity. He went on to explain that there are farms where the farmers are not paying enough attention to the bottom of their ponds and if the neglect goes on long enough, there will be distinct oxygen problems. The reason for this is that the better the oxygen levels in the water are, the easier it is for the shrimp to get the nutrients they require.
Tay ended by saying “people that know how to manage oxygen are guaranteed to have good performance.”