Eco-friendly biofloc method used for S. Korea's first production of Asian tiger shrimps

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : October 17, 2022, 16:12 Updated : October 17, 2022, 16:12

[Courtesy of Dangjin City]

SEOUL -- A South Korean aquafarm is ready to release fresh or live Asian tiger shrimps, which are regarded as high-end shrimp ingredients for various grilled shrimp dishes and imported in frozen form from Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. It was the first commercial farming of black tiger shrimps in South Korea.

Asian tiger shrimps identified by black stripes across the dorsal side of the tail are native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters. They prefer warm water and can be found in estuarine or marine habitats on the ocean floor in the sediment. The black tiger prawn yields a high economic value with a large size and sweet taste, but it is known to be susceptible to diseases.

An aquafarm in Dangjin, a port city some 80 kilometers (49.7 miles) southwest of Seoul, brought in some 150,000 seed shrimps from Thailand in May 2022 and cultivated them at high density in an eco-friendly bio-floc method that reduces the amount of feed by allowing microorganisms to ingest excrement emitted by shrimps and letting shrimps eat microorganisms when they grow.

Black tiger shrimps would be released in November 2022. Dangjin city officials said that the success of black tiger shrimp aquaculture is expected to give a new boost to the domestic shrimp farming industry, which has been dominated by white-leg shrimps, also known as Pacific white shrimps, which are native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. 

"We will try hard for fishermen to gain stable income through the innovation of the aquaculture industry," an unnamed Dangjin official said in a statement on October 17. Traditionally, Chinese white shrimps, or fleshy prawns, have been favored in South Korea, but aquaculture production was devastated by a series of epidemics in the 1990s and early 2000s.

An eco-friendly indoor farm has already been created in Dangjin that can produce white-leg shrimps using a bio-floc system, which was developed in 2016 to reuse water in indoor aquaculture tanks. Bio-floc technology was upgraded and applied to shrimp and fishing farming. Since viruses and diseases can be blocked by thorough quarantine, an optimal aquaculture environment can be created without being affected by climate.
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