Improvements in water and waste management during the last decade have been a response to a wide range of problems in the shrimp farming sector. Most management issues have focused on water and wastewater management, while little attention has been paid to improving the management of solid and semisolid shrimp pond waste.
At the same time, the environmental impact of shrimp farming has been highlighted especially with regard to farm wastewater discharge. This has lead to the development of improved water management techniques, including water pre-treatment and recirculating systems.
Both researchers and farmers have worked to improve pond management techniques. Yet complete sludge management has not received much attention. After years of culture operation, disposal of accumulated sludge is posing a problem.
Farmers are concerned about the initial capital cost and limited area is available on farm, so further post-culture management of shrimp pond waste (SPW) has not been well pursued although it has long term gain.
The results of a recent farm survey I conducted on shrimp pond waste management in three southern provinces (Ranong, Phang Nga and Chumpon) show that most farm operators are willing to improve their waste management techniques.
However, they don't have enough information to enable them to make effective changes. Therefore, a systematic waste management strategy that includes treatment, disposal and recycling is needed for sustainable shrimp farming management.
In this article I will describe a number of innovative approaches employed by farmers in Thailand.
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Source: Aquaculture Asia - September 2002