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Benchmark contributes to pioneering aquaculture study. Benchmark Animal Health have contributed to the pioneering work of Researcher Simao Zacarias from the Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling University, on non-ablated broodstock shrimp. This innovative work on new approaches to broodstock management is one of three nominations shortlisted for the 2020 Global Aquaculture Innovation Awards. The awards recognise individuals and companies that are finding new solutions to key challenges facing the aquaculture industry.

Eyestalk ablation, or removal of the eyestalk, to manipulate hormone synthesis making egg production more predictable and efficient is common practice in shrimp hatcheries worldwide and is an increasing welfare concern.

The research undertaken by Simao was funded by Benchmark, Labeyrie Fine Foods, SyAqua Siam and the Global Aquaculture Alliance. It focusses on producing postlarvae and juvenile shrimp  (Penaeus vannamei) from high welfare, non-ablated broodstock in commercial scale hatcheries.

Disease resistance of shrimp seed is dependent on broodstock quality and genetics; non-ablated broodstock demonstrated a better overall condition than ablated females as the latter have higher physical trauma, stress and physiological imbalance. The higher rates of stock survival observed in juveniles from non-ablated adults would increase animal welfare and reduce the probability of financial losses to farmers, which in turn would contribute to the sustainability of the industry and ensure shrimp farming continues to be a viable livelihood.

Simao has been shortlisted alongside two other finalists and all three will present their innovations at GAA’s GOAL 2020 conference on Thursday, October 8. The conference will be held virtually this year due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the winner will be selected through an audience vote.




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