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Institute develops new prawn breeding method

Date Posted: 2001-11-02

The Prefectural Institute of Deep-sea Water Studies located on Kume Island announced Friday that researchers at the institute had completely succeeded in farming breed stock prawns utilizing deep-sea water. This marks reportedly the first time a commercial level success in breed stock prawn farming in the world. The institute has already supplied one and a half million young prawns to six farming sites in Okinawa. Beginning next year, the institute will supply prawn hatchlings and fertilized eggs to twenty-four farming sites on Okinawa. If everything works as planned, the whole process will eventually be privatized in the year 2003.

Currently breed stock prawns in the market are all caught from natural resources from between one to two hundred meters deep where the water temperature is steady at twenty centigrade. There have been successful attempts to grow breed stock prawns by keeping the right water temperature using machines, but it has turned out to be too expensive to make it commercially viable. Okinawa is the largest producer of prawns in Japan, but the farmers have to catch the breed stock prawns near Kyushu. The problem is that the prawn stocks in the area are diminishing rapidly, and the price has increased accordingly.

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