Most Penaeus monodon breeders are wild caught from local waters in the Philippines, while some are imported from accredited overseas hatcheries. Previously the import of all breeders was banned, but now the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has now implemented a strict quarantine system which allows the import of some shrimp breeders.
Fry and fingerlings
Some post larvae (PL’s) are wild caught by specialized fishers and then sold off to farmers. However this fishery is not so well developed in the Philippines as compared to for example India or Bangladesh.
The majority of farmers acquire their PL’s from local hatcheries. After the disease outbreaks in the late 1990’s, the BFAR developed a system of approved P. monodon hatcheries that produce disease free shrimp. This official list is updated annually and can be found on their website.
As of July 2016, 25 P. monodon hatcheries were accredited by BFAR. Two of these hatcheries are producing so-called Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) PL’s which means that the strains used by these hatcheries should be free of specific pathogens. It should be noted that the SPF system for P. monodon is still experimental.
Most aquaculture operators that produce P. monodon for the domestic market employ semi-intensive production systems with low stocking densities and limited external inputs like feeds. Farmers try to stimulate algae blooms to promote the proliferation of natural feed items in their ponds. Additionally shrimp are often used in polyculture were they clean the pond bottom from uneaten fish feeds and fish faeces. Some famers, especially those that produce for the export market, use pellet feeds. Several large international feed companies are present in the Philippines and there is a continuous interests for others to enter this market. There are around a dozen feed millers that produce aquaculture feeds, and only a handful of these produce shrimp feeds. Additionally a number of traders sell imported shrimp feeds from Vietnam and Taiwan as well. Examples of commercial aquafeed producers in the Philippines are, among others, New Hope Bulacan Agriculture Inc., HOC PO Feeds Corporation and Cargill Phils., Inc.
Chemicals and veterinary drugs
Besides chemical fertilizers to stimulate algae growth in the pond, very few chemicals or veterinary drugs are used in shrimp farming operations.