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White Shrimp Back with Style in the Philippines

by Ellen Hardy
6 October 2008, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - Once illegally cultured in the country, the vannamei (Pacific white shrimp) is now the newfound star of the local fishery sector.

The culture of vannamei (Penaeus vannamei) underwent many challenges, including the destruction of $25,500 worth of breeders in 2005, before the government finally endorsed its cultivation, reports BusinessEnquirer. Fish growers also acknowledged that the culture of vannamei was profitable than other species.

"The Philippines was a latecomer in vannamei farming," Westly Rosario, BFAR center chief and interim executive director of the National Fishery Research and Development Institute, told Yolanda Sotelo-Fuertes, Northern Luzon Bureau.

"Many countries already are way ahead in its culture, but it was banned in the Philippines for many years," he says.

According to BusinessEnquirer, while other countries have made strides in growing this species, Philippine fishery officials hesitated in accepting vannamei as a legal species for culture, industry leaders say. Some farmers clandestinely farmed it, though, they say.

But because of successful experimental breeding by the BFAR, the ban was lifted in 2007. The government also issued guidelines on the importation of broodstock (breeders) and culture of offspring.

Ellen Hardy