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Bangladesh considers switching shrimp species

18 February 2019, at 9:55a.m.

The Bangladeshi government plans to allow trial production of vannamei shrimp, as they consider switching from their native tiger prawn.

Tiger prawns (Peneus monodon) are the most widely cultured crustacean in Bangladesh at the moment, but following heavy losses in the sector over the last five years, farmers and officials are looking to diversify.

According to the Financial Express Bangladesh, a pilot vannamei production programme will take place in ponds covering up to 20 acres in the Cox's Bazar and Khulna districts but – if successful – the government intends to sanction more widespread commercial production.

The newspaper reports that the Department of Fisheries (DoF) is formulating production guidelines, and is considering producing shrimp fry from imported specific pathogen-free (SPF) shrimp alongside the production of normal vannamei.

More than 75 per cent of the total world shrimp production is Litopenaeus vannamei (also known as whiteleg shrimp), which undercuts tiger shrimp in price-terms in the lucrative US and EU markets.