Polyculture shrimp farming

Penaeus monodon farming in ponds using a polyculture system takes place in all regions throughout the country, except for the capital region. The ratio of polyculture : monoculture pond farming is estimated to be around 3 : 1. Compared to semi-intensive pond farming using a monoculture system, polyculture is more extensive and its production mainly serves the domestic market. Since the production areas are so spread across the country and produce usually ends up at the local markets, little information is known about this culture method.

Key features
Average stocking density

20 – 50 PL/m2

Average productivity

9 – 12 tonnes/ha/year

# of crops per year


# of days per crop


Harvesting season

All year round

Type of farmer

Small-scale farmers

Potential risks
  • Traceability

Type of farmers

Most farmers operate one or two ponds as a family business and these farmers tend to be not very well organized.

Production and harvesting system

Production ponds using a polyculture systems range in size 500m2  to 2 hectare. Most farmers employ a partial water exchange system using tidal rhythms.

In all provinces P. monodon are harvested year round. It takes an average of 160 days for the shrimp to reach 35 grams. Shrimp are typically harvested all at once using a net when the ponds are drained. The survival rate lies between 80 and 90%. Harvest systems for milkfish and tilapia harvest are unknown.

Target species and byproducts

In most cases polyculture systems culture Penaeaus monodon with milkfish, but a few farmers use tilapia.

Stocking densities and productivity

In all provinces, P. monodon are stocked year round with the exception of the first few weeks of the rainy season. Stocking density of the ponds is around 20-50 PL per m2. Planned harvesting sizes influences stocking density; if one wants to grower bigger fish the stocking density must be reduced. Average annual productivity lies between 9 – 12 tonnes per hectare. Stocking densities and productivity of milkfish and tilapia are unknown.

Use of seed, feed and other inputs

Post larvae (PL) can be sourced from a number of hatcheries throughout the country. Some farmers buy PL’s that have been sourced from the wild. In this type of shrimp farming systems no nurseries are used as this increases mortality. In most polyculture systems the shrimp eats the excess feeds and waste produced by the fish (in most cases milkfish) and few shrimp feeds are used. In addition, most farmers use chemical fertilizers to promote algae blooms which serve as natural feed. Very few other chemicals are used as these are not readily available in the Philippine market.