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Prawn, Tiger, prawns (Farmed)

Panaeus monodon

Method of production - Farmed
Production country - SE Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia
Production method - Pond system
Accreditation -
Fish type - Shellfish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

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

Sustainability overview

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. TThe rating provided applies at a country/regional level, and also includes GAA BAP 1* certified prawns as this 1* only applies to the processing plant. 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.


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.

Stock information

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Stock information


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Production method

Pond system

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

FAO Aquaculture species factsheets. FAO:

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Farmed Shrimp report, 2004

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: and

IFFO 2009, FIFO ratios explained

ASC: Draft standards for responsible shrimp aquaculture 2011

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