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Asian farmed shrimp output could triple to 750,000 tons in decade, predicts Dr. Liao.

Asian Farmed Shrimp Output Could Triple To 750,000 Tons in Decade, Predicts Dr. Liao

Barring adverse market conditions or natural disasters, production of farm-raised shrimp in Southeast Asia and India could triple to 750,000 tons by the next century, according to estimates made by Dr. I.-Chiu Liao, director of Taiwan's Tungkang Marine Laboratory.

While Taiwan's former billion dollar business in Penaeus monodon has suffered a crippling blow due to disease problems - annual output collapsed from 95,000 tons in 1987 to less than 30,000 tons in recent years - developing nations that adopted the island's home-grown system of intensive farming are now harvesting record crops. Here is the way Dr. Liao, who is known as the "father of black tigers" due to his pioneering research in culturing the species, sees output rising between now and the end of the century:

* Thailand - from 70,000-plus to 200,000 tons

* Indonesia - 50,000 to 250,000 tons

* Philippines - 40,000 to 150,000 tons

* India - 30,000 to 100,000 tons

* Bangladesh, Malaysia and Vietnam combined - 30,000 to 50,000 tons

Meanwhile, China, whose reported 200,000 tons in annual shrimp production is estimated to be at least half farm-raised, may have reached its limit under current operating conditions. The problem is that the nation's production cycle of Penaeus orientales is characterized by heavy output entering the pipeline in a relatively short time period. The present infrastructure just isn't sophisticated enough to handle such volume.

Some observers maintain that this is one reason why quality inconsistency has been noted in packs of China whites. "This species doesn't lend itself to a great degree of heat stress," said Richard V. Martin of Meridian Products, Inc., a Santa Fe, Calif.-based seafood importer. "So, if not properly IQFed, it could present problems unless quickly moved."

Recognizing this cold chain weakness, Chinese officials have been actively seeking foreign investment and joint ventures for modernization. The process was slowed down last summer, however, after political violence erupted on the streets of Beijing. Prior to the uprising more than $200-million in external loans had been received to help put some 13,000 hectares into aquaculture production.

New approaches to obtain outside capital are now being made, according to a recent report in the China Daily newspaper calling for overseas cooperation in further developing the nation's shrimp industry. A Ministry of Agriculture officer was quoted as saying: "We need advanced equipment and funds to tap our rich natural resources."
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Title Annotation:QFFI's Global Seafood Magazine; I-Chiu Liao
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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