People have been eating shrimp for many hundreds of years. They are primarily produced in Asia but there are also a lot of suppliers in South America. The process has gone from being solely a family owned business to a multimillion dollar industry. This has changed the face of the shrimp suppliers business but there is still room for the small business owner to make a living.
Anthropologists have identified brackish water ponds in Indonesia dating back more than five hundred years. This tells them that crustaceans have been a part of the human diet for at least that long. In fact, rice farmers first started harvesting them on their farms during the off seasons and some even went on to stop producing rice at all. Because they need a lot of water, these farms are usually near a large body.
The biggest single exporter is China. However, around seventy-five percent of all of these crustaceans are from Asia. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand all rely on the industry for a portion of their national trade. While it is not as profitable as it once was, because of disease and outrage over environmental impact, it is still very profitable.
In recent years farming has become industrialized and is more efficient than it was in earlier times. Part of this is because there were many concerns about diseases in the product. However, it is also partially in response to concerns about the environmental impact. Shrimp suppliers rely upon a supply chain production method. They use fertilizers to nourish the phytoplankton and then supplement the diet with feeders filled with artificial food. This way, farmers have brought crustaceans to the market much more quickly and efficiently.
These tiny shellfish are also raised in hatcheries, nurseries, and ponds. Small family owned businesses have hatcheries that raise smaller amounts; these are generally sold locally rather than exported. Many farms have nurseries where the crustaceans stay until they are around three weeks old. Then the juveniles are moved to ponds where they grow to maturity before being harvested and sold on the market.
The Asian market produces most of the 2.5 million tons. They have managed to combat the problem with disease and are again seeing a good yield. Another factor is that the shrimp suppliers pay a better wage to their workers so this brings additional money into that economy. Even though some of the proceeds go to large companies even the family businesses are able to live comfortably off their trade.
The biggest importer is the United States, with around half a million tons imported every year. European countries, mainly Spain and France, are also huge importers as well as Japan. Even at that, many remain within the country of origin as these crustaceans are enjoyed around the world. They are so tasty that they do not require much preparation or garnish to be enjoyed.
Millions of tons are produced by shrimp suppliers every year and exported to the United States and Europe. Millions more are consumed in the local market. The farmers have refined their procedures to better nurture the shrimp and they have managed to also remain profitable.
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