NaturalShrimp, located in La Coste, Texas, uses ozone to disinfect the water. “We use ozone for advanced water treatment,” said Doug Ernst, Ph.D., VP Science and Technology for NaturalShrimp.
“This includes bacterial disinfection, removal of dissolved organics, and removal of fine particulate solids. Otherwise, harmful bacteria and waste products can accumulate to detrimental levels in recirculating aquaculture systems.”
NaturalShrimp relies on an ozone system from Ozone International that includes plasma block ozone generators, air compressors, oxygen concentrators, and internet connectivity for local and remote monitoring.
“With ozone water treatment, there are two different technical areas,” said Mr Ernst. “There’s ozone generation and then the application of ozone to the water. You need both working together, and Ozone International provides ozone generation so that we can focus on ozone application.”
Mr Ernst began working with NaturalShrimp as a consultant in 2003 and joined the staff in 2005.
An ancillary benefit of using ozone for disinfection is the oxygen provided by the gas flow from the oxygen-ozone generation system. “You have to supply dissolved oxygen to the shrimp one way or another,” stated Mr Ernst. “You want to get that done in the most cost effective manner.”
In North America, open pond shrimp aquaculture is seasonal. Fresh shrimp draws a premium price but frozen shrimp sold out of season has to compete on the global market. As a result, many US aquaculture operations went out of business. NaturalShrimp, because it utilizes a closed system, farms year-round.
“I see a huge future for ozone in aquaculture with a lot of emerging applications, especially in closed operations away from coastal areas,” added Mr Ernst.
“We are essentially a small farming operation,” concluded Mr Ernst. “The ozone equipment is complex and requires expertise to install and maintain. We can’t afford to have a person on staff to deal with ozone generation. So we are very happy with the ozone generator leasing and service agreement offered by Ozone International.”