Kauai Shrimp Farm
The farm which is 1 1/2 miles west of the hatchery is where Kauai Shrimp is grown to market size. The farm consists of 40 1 acre and 8 ½ acre ponds with total capacity of 900k lbs of meat shrimp produced a year.
Round Pond technology was developed by researchers at the Oceanic Institute back in the early 1990's. One-acre ponds are lined with food grade high density poly-ethylene (HDPE) liners, with a drain plug in the middle. Kauai Shrimp personnel regularly "bottom check" each pond to ensure the right amount of feed is distributed to the animals, to check for molts and any build up of shrimp waste, and to check the overall condition of the animals. If it is determined a pond has an excess of built of waste, the pond is flushed to remove excess waste, ensuring the animals are growing in a clean environment. The waste goes to a settlement weir where solids in the water settle out and natural bacteria and enzymes break it down.
Importance of Algae
Algae plays a significant role in pond management. It provides shade & protection from predators of the shrimp, is a source of oxygen and feed (secondary to shrimp feed), is a natural stimulant for the shrimps' appetite, it utilizes carbon dioxide from shrimp respiration and pond waste, and it stabilizes the water quality. The algae in the water is referred to as the "algal bloom".
The source of water used at both the farm and hatchery originates from wells drilled approximately 500' deep, drawing up naturally filtered, pristine salt water. According to consultants, our water source is one of the cleanest & purest sources of natural salt water used for aquaculture purposes in the world!
Ponds are aerated using paddlewheels and pond aerators. Aeration is needed for several reasons. It provides oxygen to the animals at night—photosynthesis of the algal bloom creates oxygen by day, but consumes oxygen by night. It creates a current in the pond, moving pond waste toward the middle of the pond, allowing for more efficient flushing to the settlement weir. In addition, shrimp naturally love to travel in currents, so you could say it makes the shrimp happier!
Settlement & Pond Waste
Water and pond waste move into a settlement weir which runs the length of the property. Waste is broken down by natural bacteria and enzymes. The water naturally percolates into the sandy soil. If any water goes to the ocean, it has already gone through its settlement process (much like a waste-water treatment plant), and the water quality exceeds minimum standards required by both the State of Hawaii and Environmental Protection Agency. Kauai Shrimp is accountable to both agencies on a monthly basis.