Extensive P. monodon farming

In India only a tiny part of all shrimp farming is produced in an extensive manner (also referred to as ‘traditional’). According to registrations at the Indian Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) only 1% of shrimp farming is extensively produced. However, due to the fact that these more traditional farmers are not able to fulfil CAA requirements for registration, e.g. traceability is difficult in extensive systems, the actual percentage of extensively produced shrimps is estimated to be considerably higher. Extensive shrimp farming mainly takes place in West Bengal, Kerala and to a lesser extent in Andhra Pradesh. These areas are very suitable for traditional farming due to ecological advantages on the east coast of the country. Total production of extensive shrimp farms in West-Bengal is estimated to be 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes.

Key features
Average stocking density

<4 PL/m2

Average productivity

< 500 kg/ha/year

# of crops per year


# of days per crop


Harvesting season

April – November

Type of farmer

Small-scale farmers

Potential risks
  • Lack of traceability
  • Use of wild PL

Type of farmers

This farming method is mostly practiced by small-scale traditional farmers. As they do not meet the CAA requirements for registration, the majority of these farmers remain unregistered and unregulated. Farming mainly takes place in the northern districts of West-Bengal, some areas of Kerala and to a lesser extent in some areas in Andhra Pradesh. No absolute numbers are available on the farming area but it is estimated that in West-Bengal farming area may be around 40,000 ha (MPEDA).

Production and harvesting system

Shrimp are produced in small ponds using a monoculture system. Pond size varies greatly. The ponds have irregular shapes and sizes, mostly 1.5 ha and bigger. Water exchange is done by using sluice gates to let water in when the tide allows.

Ponds are normally harvested according to the full moon and new moon pattern. Most farmers apply a partial harvest technique with bamboo cages in the corners of the ponds in which shrimp get trapped when they circulate in the pond during the full and new moon. Survival rate varies greatly, from nearly 0 to 90% (TNAU).

Target species and byproducts

Penaeus monodon is the main species cultured in this system, but wild PL of different species sometimes enter the pond naturally with the tides.

Stocking densities and productivity

The stocking density in this system is low, usually less than 4 post larvae per m2. Annual productivity is less than 500 kg per ha per year.

Use of seed, feed and other inputs

The source of the post larvae can be either wild or hatchery based. Because of the use of trap-and-hold- techniques, wild post larvae enter the pond. However, additional post larvae are normally stocked to increase productivity. Nurseries are generally not used in these production systems.

Commercial feeds is sometimes used. Contrary to Bangladesh, farmers are advised to use commercial feeds in India. This increases productivity slightly yet also increases costs for the farmers. Chemicals are not used.


The stocking season starts when the salinity in the water picks up after the monsoons, which is different per province. In West-Bengal the harvest period starts in April and ends in November (MPEDA).