Theses and Dissertations

Title: The nursery and pond culture of brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) in Alabama as a live bait product

Name: Padgett, Stuart

Degree: MS

Chair: David B. Rouse


University: Auburn, University

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 2003

Pages: 47

Keywords: nursery,pond culture,brown shrimp,Farfantepenaeus aztecus,Alabama,live bait product


There are three native penaeid shrimp species of commercial importance in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Litopenaeus setiferus (white shrimp), Farfantepenaeus duodarum (pink shrimp), and F. aztecus (brown shrimp). These species not only have supported the food shrimp industry economy, but have also played an important role in the recreational and sport fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Live shrimp for bait have been obtained through different methods, but demand continues to increase. Demand for bait shrimp has not been met by traditional capture methods in the Gulf area due to weather, currents, and environmental conditions, which vary among the different states in the Gulf. Research in different states has allowed for a better understanding of how to culture native shrimp species until desirable or marketable sizes are attained, providing a constant supply of the product. In order to better understand the requirements of the species, a nursery and a grow-out phase culture system to produce live bait shrimp was studied in Gulf Shores, Alabama, in the summer of 2002, where brown shrimp F. aztecus were used in the study. The nursery phase was conducted in 15 fiberglass tanks where PL 10 were stocked. The nursery phase was a 21-day trial designed to evaluate the effect of salinity acclimation from 28 ppt to 15 ppt at day 2, day 6, day 12, and day 20, on growth and survival. No significant differences (P>0.05) between the treatments with respect to final mean weight (22.9 mg), survival (41.4 %), and estimated feed conversion ratio (1.58) were found. The nursed shrimp were then cultured in six brackish-water, plastic-lined ponds at Claude Peteet Mariculture Center to evaluate production at two stocking densities. Shrimp were stocked at 20 and 40 post-larvae /m2 in replicated ponds and cultured for 112 days. At harvest, shrimp were marketed as live bait shrimp in local bait shops. Growth rates for the two treatments were 0.54 and 0.44-g/ week, respectively. Final mean weights were 6.8 and 5.7grams for the low and high densities, respectively. Yields for the two treatments were: 742 and 838 kg/ha and survival and FCR's were: 58 and 35% and 5.1 and 7.1, respectively. There were no significant differences between treatments, but research did demonstrate that brown shrimp can be cultured, harvested, and sold into a live bait market.

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