Giant Tiger Prawn

(Penaeus monodon)

1. What is it?

Giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) are abundant, bottom-dwelling crustaceans found in sandy, muddy or reefs associated areas. They are commercially important species and are farmed in countries around Asia.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

India

In India, Giant tiger prawns are farmed using ponds with either extensive – input, extensive – zero input or semi intensive systems. In all three methods, the damage to highly sensitive mangroves has been high; in the form of habitat loss. Work is underway to restore previously damaged mangrove systems with limited success. Escapement in all three methods is likely but as this species is native to the region an environmental impact is low. Disease outbreaks are frequent in the region and can seriously impact production and trade. Risk of transferring diseases or parasite to wild populations is considered high; however the extent of this is unknown.

  • Ponds – Extensive, zero input

    Giant tiger prawns are farmed in ponds or cages. For zero input extensive systems in India, juveniles, food and water exchange comes entirely from the natural environmental with no additional input. As a result waste discharge is normally low. There is a moderate risk of salinization to freshwater systems.

  • Ponds - Extensive

    Giant tiger prawns are farmed in ponds or cages. For extensive systems in India, there is no feed input and juveniles come from hatcheries or through natural entry. As a result waste discharge is normally low. There is a high risk of salinization to freshwater systems.

  • Ponds – Semi-intensive

    Giant tiger prawns are farmed in ponds or cages. For semi intensive systems in India, juveniles come from hatcheries or the natural environment and feed is an additional input. Feed is not traceable making it difficult to determine if it came from sustainable populations. Waste discharge is moderate and the risk of salinization is high which is likely to impact the environment negatively.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, Giant tiger prawns are farmed using ponds with either extensive – input, extensive – zero input or semi intensive systems. In all three methods, the damage to highly sensitive mangroves has been high; in the form of habitat loss. Reforestation activities are in progress but largely limited to zero-input extensive pond systems. Escapement in all three methods is likely but as this species is native to the region any environmental impact is low. Disease outbreaks are a high possibility however, a lower density of shrimps in the system will lower that risk. Risk of transferring diseases or parasites to wild populations is considered high; however the extent of this is unknown.

  • Ponds – Extensive, zero input

    Giant tiger prawns are farmed in ponds or cages. For zero input extensive systems in Vietnam, juveniles come from hatcheries whilst food and water comes entirely from the natural environmental with no additional input. Waste discharge is normally low. In Vietnam, these systems are typically located in saline water and not near freshwater systems so there is no risk of salinization.

  • Ponds - Extensive

    Giant tiger prawns are farmed in ponds. For extensive systems in Vietnam, there is no feed input and juveniles come from hatcheries. Waste discharge is considered to be low. There is a high risk of salinization to freshwater systems.

  • Ponds - semi-intensive

    Giant tiger prawns are farmed in ponds or cages. For semi intensive systems in Vietnam, juveniles come from hatcheries but feed is an additional input. Feed in Vietnam largely comes from traceable sources. Waste discharge is moderate and the risk of salinization is high which is likely to impact the environment negatively.

3. Where is it from?

India

Prawns are farmed widely in Asia with India being of the top 5 largest shrimp producers. Giant tiger prawns for many years was considered the traditional species of choice however this has changed in recent years as the focus increasingly shifted towards p.vannamei . The majority of prawns consumed in South Africa are imported and come from farms around the world. Management throughout India for all prawn farming methods is considered to be marginally effective with several gaps in regulations and little to no enforcement. There have also been reports of labour rights violations and conflict between land and water users.

Vietnam

Prawns are farmed widely in Asia with Vietnam being of the top shrimp producers. The majority of prawns consumed in South Africa are imported and come from farms around the world. Management throughout Vietnam for extensive and semi intensive pond production is considered to be marginally effective with the main concern being poor enforcement and likely negative environmental impact. For extensive zero input system management is considered to be partly effective due to reduced concerns around environmental impact. There have been no reports of labour rights violations in recent years and no evidence of land user conflicts. However Vietnam is not a signatory to all labour rights conventions so forced labour remains a possibility.

The following region and fishing methods are listed as Green on WWF-SASSI list;
  • Vietnam -> Ponds - Extensive production with zero input
  • Vietnam -> Ponds - Extensive production
The following region and fishing methods are listed as Orange on WWF-SASSI list;
  • India -> Ponds - Extensive production with zero input
  • India-> Ponds - Extensive production
The following regions and fishing method are listed as Red on WWF-SASSI list;
  • Vietnam -> Ponds - Semi intensive production
  • India -> Ponds - Semi intensive production