Shrimp Dept pict

Shrimp Department

Led by Dr. Shaun Moss, OI's Shrimp Department has been at the forefront of shrimp aquaculture research and technology innovation for more than two decades.

Some of the most recent contributions OI's Shrimp Department has made to advancing shrimp culture include:

1) Developed an integrated pedigree and performance database for OI's shrimp breeding program.
We have developed a computerized pedigree database that incorporates information from our shrimp breeding program from 1989 to date. This pedigree database is integrated with shrimp performance data and we now have access to over 100,000 individual shrimp records. This database will serve as an invaluable tool in managing OI'fs shrimp breeding program and in generating important information about shrimp genetics, including heritability estimates and estimates of phenotypic and genetic correlations. This database will provide us with a powerful tool to manage the shrimp breeding program more effectively, and may represent the largest collection of integrated shrimp pedigree and performance data in the world. This work was funded by the USDA U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming Program.

2) Produced Specific Pathogen Free, genetically improved shrimp in the new Nucleus Breeding Center (NBC).
We successfully matured and spawned broodstock shrimp in our new NBC maturation module, raised nauplii to PL-12 in the NBC hatchery, reared postlarvae to 1-gram juveniles in the NBC nursery, and grew the shrimp to broodstock in the NBC raceways. The NBC is a biosecure facility that: 1) is stocked only with specific pathogen free (SPF) shrimp, 2) is enclosed (i.e. under roof), 3) has limited human access, and 4) uses pre-filtered and disinfected recirculating seawater in the maturation, nursery, and growout modules. The importance of this facility is that it protects OI's valuable shrimp genetic resources from diseases while simultaneously protecting Hawaii's environment by reducing effluent discharge and mitigating the risk of escapement of non-indigenous species. This work was funded by the USDA U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming Program.

3) Produced and distributed over 1 million 'Kona' postlarvae to U.S. researchers and U.S. shrimp producers.
For the sixth consecutive year, we produced four batches of 'Kona' shrimp per year, and for the third consecutive year, we produced and distributed over 1 million 'Kona' postlarvae to U.S. shrimp researchers and producers. These shrimp represent the 'white mice' for shrimp disease research because of their predictable response in disease-challenge tests. In addition, 'Kona' shrimp have been used: 1) in disease-challenge assays as positive controls, 2) to identify potential genetic markers associated with disease resistance, 3) to develop disease diagnostic tools, 4) as test organisms in developing epidemiological models, 5) as a standard for assessing disease resistance in other shrimp strains, and 6) as sentinel shrimp for commercial shrimp farmers to act as 'canaries in a coal mine.' The use of 'Kona' shrimp as a standard reference strain for disease-related research has been critical to the development of disease-resistant shrimp and disease diagnostic tools, and would be an invaluable tool in assessing the efficacy of health-enhancing products, such as immunostimulants and vaccines. This work was funded by the USDA U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming Program.

4) Produced 7.82 kg/m2 of market-size shrimp in a biosecure raceway for intensive shrimp culture.
We produced 7.82 kg of 18-gram shrimp per square meter in our 58-m2 biosecure raceway. The raceway was stocked with juvenile shrimp at 663/m2 and juveniles grew 1.3 grams per week over the growout trial. This amount of biomass is one of the highest ever reported in shrimp aquaculture worldwide and represents a significant achievement in the progress towards commercialization of this production technology. Importantly, the amount of water used to produce one kg of whole shrimp was about 367 liters, and this is one to two orders of magnitude less than what is commonly used by the existing shrimp farming industry. By reducing water exchange, we mitigate the risk of a disease outbreak in the shrimp culture environment while simultaneously reducing nutrient and biological pollution of the natural environment. This work was funded by the USDOC NIST-ATP program. Click here to read coverage of this event in the Honolulu Advertiser

5) Produced putative transgenic shrimp.
In collaboration with researchers from the University of Connecticut, we produced putative transgenic shrimp which were transfected with a gene that codes for the synthesis of an antimicrobial peptide (cecropin). This peptide may confer upon the shrimp resistance to a suite of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoans. This achievement is significant because it may provide a technology to produce disease-resistant shrimp quickly and effectively and represents one of the first successful attempts to produce transgenic shrimp worldwide. The work was funded by the USDA NRI program.

Here are some specific projects that OI researchers are involved in to increase and improve shrimp farming: