Shrimp in Madagascar

With a production volume of 14,000 MT in 2016, Madagascar is one of the smallest producers of shrimp in the world. Despite this, the organically produced Malagasy Giant Tiger shrimp is well known for its high quality and unique taste, making it a desirable product, especially for the European market. The country is the largest exporter of shrimp in Africa and, as the local demand for a product as costly as shrimp is limited, more than 60% (8,500 MT) of the total production was exported in 2016. Production from wild capture make up for nearly 70% of the total production volume and has been steadily increasing for the past few years. Although farmed shrimp only counted for 3,500 MT in 2015, statistics from 2016 indicate that the sector is starting to recover from the outbreak of the White Spot syndrome in 2011 by presenting a production increase of 20%. The sector is developing and Madagascar is considered to be the leading country in shrimp aquaculture in Africa. Even though the environmental conditions are favorable for expanding the aquaculture sector, other factors such as the rising of costs, energy and fishmeal, and limited infrastructure, serve as obstacles for a significant expansion to take place in the near future. Despite this, the aquaculture sector will keep focusing on improving the existing niche market to offer high-quality shrimp, produced in a sustainable, environmental friendly and social responsible manner for the international market.


Sourcing news

Species wise production

Source: FAO (2018)

In 2008 several factors, such as rising costs, declining shrimp prices and damages caused by a tsunami in 2008, resulted in a remarkable decrease in the production volume from both shrimp fisheries and aquaculture. As both sectors were still

recovering from the tsunami damage, White Spot Syndrome Virus was detected in Mozambique in 2011, which spread rapidly to farms in Madagascar. Both sectors were affected, but wild capture production quickly recovered.

The effects on the production volumes of the aquaculture sector lasted longer as several farms were affected all of them having to drain all of their ponds. The sector had to adapt and farms had to invest to improve their bio security. 2014 and 2015 represent transition years, but numbers from 2016 (4,200 MT) indicate that the sector is recovering. Whether production will reach its pre-2008 levels (8,000 MT) depends on several internal factors, but also the demand from the international market, as the growth is almost entirely dependent on exports and local demand is limited.

What is for sure is that the aquaculture sector will continue developing better methods to offer the international market high quality and sustainablly produced shrimp.

Export markets

Source: Trade Map (2018), International Trade Centre,

Due to consequences of the crisis in 2008 and the white spotted syndrome, the quantity exported between 2008-2015 decreased significantly, but 2016 and 2017 figures

indicate that better times are ahead for the industry.

The EU market is by far the most important market for Malagasy shrimp making up to nearly 86% (7,800 MT) in 2017. In addition to enjoying a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union, the French market's desire for the organic Malagasy Giant Tiger Shrimp makes France the main export destination. In 2017, 78% of shrimp being exported from Madagascar went to France alone. Other important European countries are Portugal and Spain. China entered the Malagasy shrimp market in 2014. After a Memorandum of Understanding that governed shrimp export to the Chinese market was signed, the export of shrimp has gone from 200 MT in 2013 to nearly 1200 MT in 2017.

In terms of pricing, the shrimp industry in Madagascar has yet to overcome some challenges before it can compete with Asian countries. Therefore, the Malagasy shrimp industry currently focuses on offering high-quality shrimp instead of quantity.

Export products in 2016 (tonnes)

Source: Trade Map (2018), International Trade Centre,

As the graph clearly illustrates, the preferred export form of shrimp from Madagascar is frozen (9,158 MT). As found on the product list on one of the biggest shrimp exporters in

Madagascar, OSO group, several variants of this product group are offered. Cultured HOSO shrimp, in the sizes 15/20, 30/35 and 40/60, is packed in units from 320 to 800 grams. Raw body peeled frozen shrimp (30/40, 25/30) and raw skewer frozen shrimp (40/50) is also offered in this product group. Frozen wild shrimp is mostly exported HOSO, in 20/30 or 40/60 sizes, and packed in units of 320 grams.

In 2017, only 6 MT prepared or preserved shrimp in airtight containers was exported. This product was only exported to France.


Last updated: 01/06/2018

  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

    # Farms 1
    # Farms in assessment 0
    # CoC partners 1
    Total Volume (MT) 3,108

Production systems


    Most farm use a breeding system with pumping, but without aeration. In order to offer organic and high quality shrimp, farms operate with a stocking density of 5-8 PL/m2. The shrimps are farmed for six months.

Supply Chain

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Risk assessment

Environmental risks

  • Little overall impact on mangroves due to farmed shrimp production. Being a niche industry, the companies focus on achieving sustainable and environmental friendly production systems.
  • Marine resources are under pressure from illegal and unregulated fishing vessels. Dialogues have started to achieve better and more sustainable practices.

Social risks

  • Immigrants outnumbers native-born residents in farming areas. Can lead to conflicts over land as production grows.
  • The biggest shrimp companies try to prevent this by programs to ensure that their activities also benefit the local community.

Quality and supply chain

  • High costs of transport, labour and electricity result in that farmers cannot be competitive with Asian countries in terms of price.
  • The last years operative farms have declined due to lack of investment in biosecurity.
  • Due to low domestic demand, the production is dependent on the demand from the international market.

Species in Madagascar

Click on the species and find out more about the species in Madagascar