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Use of commercial probiotics pays off in Bangladesh cultured giant freshwater prawn

May 3, 2023  By Ruby Gonzalez

Photo: sirawut / Adobe Stock

Not only does the application of commercial probiotics in Macrobrachium rosenbergii (giant freshwater prawn) farming produce best performance indicators, it also delivers the best financial returns. 

These were among the findings of a study by Md. Abul K. Azad et al. in Bangladesh that looked into the application of commercial probiotics in all culture phases of giant freshwater prawns.

The application of probiotics from the hatchery-rearing stage to the end of the culture cycle can significantly increase the earnings of the farmers, the authors cited in the study published on Journal of the World Aquaculture Society.

The cultured prawn industry is among the top high-value exports of the country, with the European Union, USA, Japan, Russia and China as the top markets.


Bangladesh has the natural environment conducive for farmed giant prawn production. To sustain industry growth, ongoing studies are being done on methods to handle diseases and buffer the threats of high mortality and economic losses.

Previous studies on probiotics application focused on grow-out stage. “Application of zymetin and super PS probiotics in hatchery, nursery, and grow-out phases of Macrobrachium rosenbergii and their impact on culture environment, production, and economics” is the first study on application of probiotics on all culture stages.

Per estimated fixed cost for one cycle of production, variable and total cost – all per hectare, production areas with probiotics application at all culture stages (T1) generated more expenses compared to areas where probiotics was applied only during the grow-out stage (T2) and control.

These well expenses well spent as cost-benefits analysis showed that T1 yielded the highest net return to land, family labour, and management: T1 (US$3778.33 ± 61.08); T2 ($3263.02 ± 173.30); and C ($2619.21 ± 188.22) (p < 0.01).

Zymetin is a feed probiotic useful for enhancing the physical strength and growth of prawns. It aids in the stimulation of immune activity, and reduces pathogenic bacteria by competitive exclusion. It was added to the feed for a specific length of days every week.

Super PS is a soil probiotic that significantly improves shrimp health and growth by biodegradation of organic pollutants, reduces hydrogen sulfide and toxic gases, and maintains optimum water quality and soil parameters. It was applied in tanks or ponds before stocking PL or juveniles. Post-stocking, super PS application was done at varied quantities at several culture stages.

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