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B.C. RAS shrimp farm shuts down

November 14, 2019
By Liza Mayer

Berezan Shrimp's farm was forced to go under quarantine last summer after it failed to eradicate the Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis virus (IHHNV) detected in its Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp) imports from Texas.

A land-based shrimp farm in Langley, British Columbia, has buckled under the weight of high production costs.

Berezan Shrimp Co. shut down its 20,000-square-foot farm in September after 22 months of operation.

“The farm was not paying its own bills,” said general manager Warren Douglas. “It’s a business decision at this point, certainly, because we’ve cracked the code—we know how to acclimate the post-larvae, grow them to market size and they have fantastic quality. But there’s just too much overhead for the pilot. Our number one cost is labor; our number one cost should be feed.”

The farm was also under quarantine in August and remained so until its closure in September because it failed to eradicate the Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis virus (IHHNV) detected in its Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp) imports from Texas.


Observers say the failure of the farm despite having an excellent technical team speaks to the complicated nature of RAS farming. The high costs of development and production is one of the greatest challenges faced by RAS operators.

Whether Berezan Shrimp will return, perhaps by adapting another technology, remains to be seen.

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4 Comments » for B.C. RAS shrimp farm shuts down
  1. Krishnakumar Menon says:

    RAS facilities are supposed to run on low manpower as opposed to conventional flowthrough hatchery facilities. Wondering how labour costs could cripple the viability of operations ?? Yes capital costs for RAS are certainly high.

  2. Dr.Mohammad Shahjahan Howlader says:

    It is sad that an innovative venture to produce prawn in land based farming system has failed, told to be due to the high labor cost and disease problem.
    I believe two corrective approach may ease the situation –
    (a) Selective manpower- after making the system running, one skilled full time person should be enough to run a sustainable moderate size farm.
    (b) Hardy prawn species like Giant prawn, Macrbrachium rosenbergii, de man, could be a species of choice to escape the disease hazard. technology for farming this prawn is well established.
    (c) To keep the farming animal safe from disease, particularly in the recirculatory systems, all material inputs should be carefully checked before they are flowed in.
    (i) For the recirculatory system, recirculating water be checked frequently (rather very frequently) to be sure that it is free from disease agents.
    (ii) Penaeid sps are generally known to susceptible to viral disease particularly under captivity – so this should very carefully guarded against.
    (ii) Shrimp fry of the Penaeid shrimp species often come with the viral disease – this aspect should be carefully ensured.
    (ii) Shrimp health is another important aspect – usually shrimp (most other species) become virus affected when it becomes – providing balanced feed is important.
    (iii) One reliable way of checking the weakness of the the shrimp (also other farmed animals) is the check the growth weekly basis to see if the growth is comparable with the known growth rate.
    (iv) Recirculated water should be fed with some freshened with some fresh water when it ages in the system.
    Anyone interested to know more about fish/shrimp farming under the land based recirculatory system may please contact me for sharing my experience with such system.

  3. Jude says:

    what is anybody’s opinion of the electron bombardment techniques used by Natural Shrimp of Texas to clean and disinfect the water?

  4. Timoteo G. Sagrado says:

    When if we cannot provide the shrimp what they wanted we failed to produced. Currently I am working here In Qatar Aquatic Research Center. The Facilities designed considered Excellent and the consultant was from European Expert. However, in the actual scenario the designed was not suited to L. vannamei shrimp. Therefore, The Objective is to get the target production by means.
    I did it! ( Just back to basic principle).

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