Tru Shrimp, Hawaii's Oceanic Institute ink supply deal

Hatchery International staff
July 24, 2018
By Hatchery International staff
Michael Ziebell, president and CEO, Tru Shrimp
Michael Ziebell, president and CEO, Tru Shrimp
The Tru Shrimp Company has signed an agreement with the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University to develop a nucleus shrimp breeding program in the U.S. Under the agreement, Oceanic Institute will supply Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) breeding stock selected and developed exclusively for Tru Shrimp.

The agreement is the beginning of a relationship with the scientists of Oceanic Institute to identify which of their breeding stock best perform in Tru Shrimp's patented production environment, the company said. Dr. Bruce Paterson, chief technical officer of Tru Shrimp, said it is critical high-performing breeding stock are chosen and certified specific pathogen free since Tru Shrimp does not use antibiotics in its production systems.

"Biosecurity of the supplier's facilities and the health and growth capability of the breeding stock were high priorities during the selection of a shrimp brood stock supplier," Paterson said. "Oceanic Institute was the first company in the world to receive the designation 'specific pathogen free'. This means Oceanic Institute shrimp breeding stock are certified to be free of the nine major shrimp diseases recognized by the World Organization of Animal Health. This assures Tru Shrimp that our breeding stock will be disease free and have been raised under the highest of biosecurity standards."

In addition to supplying brood stock for the hatchery at the Tru Shrimp Innovation Research Center, Oceanic Institute will supply post larvae shrimp for the initial stocking of the Balaton Bay Reef in Minnesota, expected to be the largest shrimp production facility in the Midwest when it comes online later this summer, the company said. Tru Shrimp president and CEO Michael Ziebell said the agreement with Oceanic Institute is an important step forward.

Related: New RAS hatchery and farm planned for Minnesota 

"Oceanic Institute is a pioneer in the selective breeding of Pacific white shrimp. With this agreement, Tru Shrimp has aligned itself with the best in the industry. It is our honor they agreed to work with us. A nucleus breeding program is a major piece of the fully integrated model we are pursuing to produce safe, antibiotic-free shrimp for the U.S. market," Ziebell said.

The executive director at the Oceanic Institute welcomed the partnership saying it adheres to the agency's mandate from the government to support local shrimp farming. The Oceanic Institute receives funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop its shrimp breeding technology.

"However, many beneficiaries of this technology grow shrimp overseas, so it is very rewarding for us to have this partnership with Tru Shrimp here in the U.S," said Shaun Moss, executive director at Oceanic Institute. "We believe the combination of Tru Shrimp's innovative production environment, coupled with Oceanic Institute's breeding technology, will result in production efficiencies which will make Tru Shrimp a leader in sustainable shrimp farming in the U.S. and beyond."

Tru Shrimp's Balaton Bay Reef will be stocked with shrimp in September. It will also break ground on Luverne Bay Harbor in Luverne, Minnesota, this fall. The nine-acre Luverne Bay Harbor will be capable of producing millions of pounds of shrimp annually, Tru Shrimp said.

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