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Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns

Litopenaeus vannamei

Method of production - Farmed
Production country - Global
Production method - Pond systems, organic certification
Accreditation - Organic
Fish type - Shellfish

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This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is the most sustainable fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find similar fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

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 byproducts of human consumption fisheries.

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.

Stock information

Stock area

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Stock information

Management

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Production method

Pond systems, organic certification

Prawn /shrimp are farmed in saline/brackish water ponds of various sizes and intensities in many parts of the world, 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.

Read the MCS Aquaculture policy position paper


References
Organic Standards, implementation and certification procedures: Naturland, Bio Suisse, AB Bio, Soil Association, EU Organic Aquaculture Regulation

FOAM EU regulation dossier 2012

FAO Aquaculture Species factsheets:http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Litopenaeus_vannamei/en

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