The experience of commercial cultivation of marine shrimp production ponds in Costa Rica
The culture of marine shrimp in earthen ponds in Costa Rica has been restricted to a small portion of the territory (1 000 ha), being the North Pacific region, at both margins of the Gulf of Nicoya, one of the most productive areas. During 2011-2012 these farms implemented a Management Plan that has allowed for continuously and predictably obtaining adequate levels of conventional shrimp production. The present study describes the results obtained with the Management Plan used at stocking densities of 10 shrimp/m2 in three short cycles (90-120 days) and 15 shrimp/m2 in one long cycle (180 days) during 2011 and 2012 in 11 ponds located in Colorado de Abangares, Guanacaste. Survival was better in the 2011 cycles (75% and 80%) as compared to the 2012 cycles (58% and 51%); the final average weight was lower for the short cycles (11-14 g) in relation to the long cycle (approximately 20 g). Because there was no compensation on growth and biomass in the last cycle with the lowest survival, productivity decreased to 600 kg/ha after having obtained remarkable increments (from 1 118 to 1 263 and 1 730 kg/ha) in the three previous cycles. The possible factors causing low productivity in this cycle at the end and at the beginning of the year are discussed in this paper.
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