USSEC provided technical support to commercial shrimp growers in Peru by holding multiple discussions with a feedmill representative and fish and shrimp producers about modifying diet formulations for fish and shrimp by incorporating more soybean meal derived from U.S.-grown soybeans.
Visits to fish and shrimp farms and facilities by USSEC consultants Dr. John Hargreaves and Jairo Amezquita consisted of six one-on-one or small-group direct technical consultations and presentations to farm groups about pond preparation and water management of shrimp ponds to improve productivity and technical capacity. The presentation consisted of sections on sediment removal, pond drying, soil liming, fertilization, managing water transparency through water exchange, and the use of probiotics in fish and shrimp farming. Six large and prominent fish and shrimp farms in Huacho, Piura and Tumbes were visited. The presentations were made to personnel at two of the six farms visited. Mr. Amezquita also talked about USSEC’s role in the development of global aquaculture, emphasizing the advantages of using U.S. Soy in shrimp diets.
Dr. Hargreaves´s presentation focused on pond preparation and water management of fish and shrimp ponds to improve productivity. The lecture consisted of sections on sediment removal, pond drying, soil liming, fertilization, managing water transparency through water exchange, and the use of probiotics in shrimp farming. A few points were emphasized to shrimp farmers as recommendations:
1) The importance of pond drying was emphasized to oxidize accumulated organic matter. It was recommended that farmers have a production cycle with a 15-day interval between harvesting one crop and stocking juveniles for the next crop. Within this 15-day interval, there should be 7 days of bright sunshine with the pond completely exposed.
2) Ponds should be routinely tested to evaluate soil pH. This is especially true for ponds located in former mangrove wetlands, which are known to have soils with low pH and a very high lime requirement. The point was emphasized that ponds will not respond well to fertilization unless soil pH is greater than 7.
3) Perhaps the most important point emphasized was that the best way to manage dissolved oxygen in ponds without aeration is to manage water transparency. By maintaining a water transparency (as indicated by Secchi disk visibility) of 30-50 cm, there should be no problems with dissolved oxygen concentration. This can be problematic in shrimp farming areas where source water is already highly eutrophic, as indicated in at least one farm visited.