Harvest of a shrimp pond. Photo by: John van Herwijnen
During harvest, the ponds are being emptied manually by nets or forcing the shrimp to leave the pond through a gate at which end they are trapped. The bigger farmers use a mechanical system with a kind of leverage machine which lifts the shrimps smoothly but quickly on shore. On shore, the shrimps are put in plastic boxes with water, ice and metabisulphite. From there, the boxes are transported by trucks of 4,000-5,000 kg to the production plants. For the national markets, the shrimps might be transported directly to the customers without passing processing.
The medium and bigger companies bring their shrimps to their own plants or to the public plants for processing (maintaining the shrimp in their possession, hence staying the exporter). The smaller and some medium farmers sell their harvest beforehand to bigger companies or to public production plants (which become the owners and so exporters of the shrimps). These small-medium farmers and public production plants are in direct contact with each other. Both know about actual prices but as the farmers depend on the plants, these buyers have a favorable position during negotiation. There are no middlemen involved as there is a great lack of confidence and trust to anyone, especially traders and commercial agents. The farmers prefer to have a direct relation with the production plants and vice versa without any interference by other parties. The smaller farmers do sell directly to local restaurants, small shops and fish markets.