Our farm is located a quarter mile from the ocean and our ponds are constructed above the mean high tide line to prevent flooding or escapes. By utilizing polyurethane liners in the ponds, they can be reused without the need to expand into additional habitats. By utilizing round ponds all the waste collects at the center and is pumped to the edges creating a bio-fluc recirculation system.
The resuspension which recycles the solids back into the pond and through photosynthesis the solids break down and becomes a source of additional feed. We source our water at both our hatchery and farm from wells that penetrate a saltwater aquifer 500ft deep into the center of the island. The resulting water is high in salinity, bacteria free and is part of the secret to the sweet flavor of Kauai shrimp.
We cultivate our own algae to add to the ponds for the optimum environment in which the shrimp thrive. This is a chemical free product as we don’t use any antibiotics in the grow out and no sulfites in the processing of the shrimp. Much of our power is produced by a hydro plant up in the mountains behind our farm which minimizes our carbon footprint.
In terms of sustainability, here are some of the main environmental and social issues and corresponding features of our operation.
|Health||• All shrimp used in our operations are specific pathogen free (SPF), which means they are certified free of the OIE notifiable list of viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Not only are our breeding center and hatchery certified SPF, but also the farm. This is unique. Very few farms in the world are certified SPF. By using only SPF shrimp and SPF facilities, we eliminate the need for antibiotics and other therapeutants.|
|• Strict biosecurity is maintained at the breeding center, hatchery, and farm to avoid introduction of disease by water, feed, personnel, birds, vehicles, or other vectors.|
|• The Hawaii Department of Agriculture veterinarian maintains a rigorous disease surveillance program at our facilities as a requirement for shipment of brood stock to shrimp hatcheries around the world. Samples are collected and analyzed by third party labs on approximately a weekly basis.|
|Breeding||• Our operation includes a family-based selective breeding program using SPF stocks of Pacific white shrimp. (This is conventional breeding — not GMO).|
|• In-house breeding eliminates reliance on collection of wild adults for spawning. This, in turn, eliminates the issues of trawling, by catch, forced labor on fishing vessels, etc. In-house breeding also assures continuous improvement in performance without compromises in quality of the final product.|
|Hatchery||• The hatchery uses only in-house SPF brood stock and frozen or dry feeds from bio-secure sources. No live feeds are used.|
|• Seawater is drawn from wells and disposed of through percolation ponds. No water is drawn from or returned to the sea.|
|• An in-house algologist maintains and continually improves the stocks of unicellular algae used as the first feed for larval shrimp. This improves animal health and nutrition.|
|• No antibiotics or therapeutants are used in the hatchery.|
|Farm||• The farm was constructed on former sugarcane property which is at least 1 km from the beach and several meters above high tide. Construction of the farm did not damage or displace mangroves or other protected habitats.|
|• Seawater is drawn from deep wells (>150 m), which are well below the freshwater lens and do not affect drinking water supplies. This water has a constant temperature and salinity and is free of pathogens.|
|• Ponds are constructed with plastic liners, round shape, a central sump, and strategically placed aerators. This hydraulically advanced design automatically collects organic waste at the center, where it is continuously pumped to the edge for recycling. This resuspension of organic solids creates a biofloc system — an aerobic water treatment and recycling system.|
|• Clams are raised in polyculture with the shrimp to filter the water and remove excess algae and organic matter.|
|• Waste-water is discharged into perimeter canals where tilapia browse on the remaining plankton and solids.|
|• The use of biofloc, clams, and tilapia greatly reduces the organic load of discharged seawater.|
|• Effluent from the farm is strictly monitored by a third party laboratory according to rigorous guidelines established by EPA through the Hawaii Department of Health. The farm has never been in violation of these effluent criteria.|
|• Pumps and aerators used at the farm are powered by hydroelectric energy, which greatly reduces the carbon footprint of Kauai Shrimp. The hydroelectric power plant captures the energy of water running down from Mt. Waialeale, the central mountain of Kauai, which is one of the wettest locations on the planet.|
|Feed||• Our Feed is produced by EWOS Canada and is certified as BAP.|
|Processing||• The processing plant is located 12 miles (20 km) from the farm. This allows harvest, transport, processing, and freezing of the shrimp within 3 hours for maximum freshness.|
|• Effluent from the processing plant is directed to a municipal water treatment plant to assure proper processing.|
|Salaries and benetifs||• We actively hire employees from the local community.|
|• The work force at our hatchery, farm, and processing plant is paid US wages, one of the highest in the shrimp farming sector.|
|• All full-time employees receive medical insurance.|
|• We don’t offer accommodations at our facilities, but we do provide good working conditions, bathrooms, drinking water, etc.|
|• There is no child labor or forced labor.|
|• We have a mandatory drug testing for all employees as well as a drug rehabilitation program.|
|Community||• We engage the public in facility tours and education programs.|
|• Our permitting process routinely involves a public comment period or meetings, where we have an opportunity to respond to questions about our operation.|