Americans alone consume more than 1 Billion pounds of shrimp per year, which comes out to over 4 pounds per person annually. That's a lot of shrimp! So, where does it all come from. It's interesting really. The Gulf of Mexico supplies about 25% of the national consumables and the rest is largely imported from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Ecuador and Brazil - just to name a few.
The U.S. supply of wild catch shrimp from the gulf has taken a huge hit due to the BP Oil Spill this Spring and it's predicted that the shrimping grounds off the southern gulf states may be closed for many years to come. The latest estimate of damages to the fishing industry from the spill range at almost $3 Billion dollars.
So, how are we going to make up for this "shrimp deficit" and meet the demand of millions of hungry Americans that love shrimp? Well, there has been a lot of talk recently of a surge in the start-up of Shrimp Farms to meet some of this demand and it's rather ingenious. Seafood aquaculture has been getting a lot of attention lately and a vast majority of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. is farmed shrimp anyway. Why not actually "farm" the Shrimp here as opposed to overseas?
There are several things that one would need to take into consideration before jumping in and starting a shrimp farm however. Just a few are the land requirements and equipment of course. Getting some aquaculture knowledge and education couldn't hurt either and a good handle on the industry as a whole. It does come down to more than just scooping some shrimp out of a pond. There are things such as marketing to consider as well as organizations that are good to affiliate with.
Shrimp farming is, without a doubt, an exploding industry and certainly ripe with opportunity in the face of the Gulf disaster. The price of shrimp has risen dramatically since the fishing grounds were closed and there is no sign of relief to those price hikes - a definite signal that some new suppliers are needed. With a proper plan, anyone with fishing, farming, or just plain good learning experience can make their mark here.
If you are interested in starting a shrimp farm, a good start is to