Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic plants. One common example of aquaculture is prawn farming, which involves the breeding and cultivation of prawns in tanks or ponds. Prawn farming is an important part of the blue economy, which refers to economic activities that are directly or indirectly related to the ocean and other water bodies. Prawn farming provides a sustainable source of protein, generates employment opportunities, and supports local economies. It also reduces pressure on wild prawn populations, which are often overexploited, and can help to improve food security in many parts of the world.
The Islands Development Company (IDC) has successfully relaunched the prawn farm on Coëtivy Island (290 kilometres south of Mahé). The production of the white shrimps (L. vannamei) has already started and the first cropping was done in April. The shrimps were put on the local market a few days later, although in limited quantity, as the project is still in the experimental phase. The species has proven to be well-suited to aquaculture in land-based hatchery tanks and grow-out pond systems and a second batch of white shrimps will be on the market in July. IDC is also experimenting with the black tiger prawns (Penaeus monodon).
This is not the first time mass prawn farming is being done on Coëtivy. With the help of brood stocks brought in from Madagascar and Mozambique, the Seychelles Marketing Board (SMB) established a black tiger prawn farm in partnership with the IDC on the island in 1989. The farm was later taken over by the SMB and it stopped operating in down in 2009.
The Coëtivy Island was found to be the most suitable site in Seychelles for commercial prawn farming because it already has a lot of the suitable characteristics in place. The island has flat land and high-quality seawater, electricity supply, accommodation, and basic infrastructure are still available. It also provides the potential for production and supply to the local market to reduce the current imports of prawns.
There are currently nine ponds on Coëtivy being used for the project for the white shrimps and black tiger prawns.
*Photo Credits – IDC*
Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy
2nd Floor Maison Collet
Palm Street, Victoria, Mahé
P.O Box 408
Republic of Seychelles
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