Anon Areerazde is the Manager of Samaphan Farm in Tumbol Nuen Pra, Amphur Moung of the Rayong Province, Thailand.


How did your farm get started? What is your philosophy?

We have started shrimp culture here since 1986 about 17 years ago. Before we started the project we set up our conceptual plan that if we used the same technique as in Taiwan we might fail and end up with same destination. Our idea is to have sustainable production. We need to raise shrimp by relying on nature without using chemicals. So we set up our two principles. First is not to destroy the environment and second is that we use no chemicals. From these two principles, we discover many management techniques to apply to our shrimp culture.

Please give us details on your management.

Using our two principles, not to destroy the environment and not to use any chemicals, our management must use sufficient feed to try to make shrimp healthy and strong. We emphasize a disease prevention scheme over the focus of only curing those infected.

Why do you grow mangrove?

We know that shrimp spend their larval stage in the mangrove area. We want to simulate our farm to be close to the nature as much as we can.

What is the benefit of working as a cooperative?

When you face a problem, there is someone that will help you solve the problem. Also, you have more power to purchase things like shrimp feed. In addition, there is a benefit when you sell your product, because you get higher prices when you sell in big lots.

When did you start the project here?

Our group started our project in 1986. That makes it 17 years. This proves that to rely on nature and not use chemicals helps us raise shrimp for a long period of 17 years.

What do you think about the results of your culture system?

I think shrimp culture in Thailand could be sustainable if people follow our two principles.

In your opinion, how does this farm succeed?

We have had constant production during the past 17 years. Sometimes we had problems, but only a few. I think we do the right thing. The past 17 years is our best guarantee.

Shrimp farming has expanded to several countries like Vietnam and Brazil. Many people complained that the environment will become more destroyed. If they follow your principles, do you think shrimp farming could be more accepted?

Our management is just one among many other management groups. If everyone relies on nature and the environment and avoids using chemicals, I think shrimp culture should be done anywhere in the world.

How do you deal with the discharge?

The water discharge from our farms will retain in our wetland where we grow the mangrove in an area of 12 acres. Mangrove will use the nutrients and water will settle down. If we help nature, nature will help us. Nothing is greater than nature.

What about the sludge accumulated in the pond? How do you deal with it?

During the culture period, the sludge will accumulate at the middle of the pond. After we harvest it, we will move this sludge to a sludge pond outside of the farm. This sludge can be used as fertilizer in the orchard.

How can chemical-free, healthy shrimp yield a good price?

Most exported shrimp always has notorious chemical residue. But shrimp product from our group especially COC group (Code of Conducts) is a chemical-free product. Right now, we export 15 tons of our product to McDonald’s in Austria and get 40 Thailand bahts more for each kilogram than the normal price.

Forty bahts higher for each kilogram?


Have you used any chemical to prevent disease?

Not at all. We use good management to prevent the disease. We are confident that with good management, the disease should not occur.

Can you explain how to use microorganisms in shrimp ponds?

It is a long story. There are many impacts on using the microorganisms. In Thailand, it is very popular to use microorganisms in shrimp ponds now. From my experience, to use microorganisms effectively, you need to have sufficient dissolved oxygen in the pond. Also local microorganisms are more effective than those that are imported because they are native species to the tropical zone. The factors that affect the use microorganisms are oxygen in the water, bottom soil condition, and application rate. Those are the main factors that affect the use of microorganisms.

How often do you use microorganisms in your farm?

Since our ponds are 17 years, they are quite old. We need to use microorganisms to help improve the bottom soil and enhance the decomposition. We use many aerators, both surface and bottom aeration, in order to make sure that microorganisms can work very effectively. We use microorganisms every 15 days during the rearing period.

Bacteria that cause the disease have already existed in the nature and cannot harm the healthy shrimp, right?

Bacteria that cause the disease usually exist in living organisms, but it has no impact to those organisms if they are healthy. This is true with shrimp culture. If shrimp are healthy, any disease will not be harmful. Some of our member ponds had problems with the disease but it only occurred with one or two ponds or at most four or five ponds.

What is the stocking density in your farm compared to the others?

The stocking density in our group is 30-40 pieces/m2 or 50,000 to 70,000 pieces per rai (2.5 rai = 1 acre). We will not stock higher densities than this because it is easier for management.

Can you compare the stocking density with the other group?

Compared with the other group, we can manage easier, there is less disease problem, and a faster growth rate. If you stock high density, the management is more difficult, there is a huge amount of accumulated sludge, and shrimp become stressed. So for us, we choose to stock lower density.

What is the stocking density for those who use a high stocking rate?

It is around 80,000 to 100,000 pieces per rai.

There is no fixed formula for shrimp culture; the most important is that the shrimp farmer has to be close with his cultured shrimp. Please give more details on this?

There is no formula to be successful with shrimp culture. The success depends on the attention of the shrimp farmer himself. Most of the failures have been with those who have not enough time spent with their cultured shrimp.

Do you want to add anything?

I would like to suggest that Thai shrimp farmers, or farmers in other countries, follow COC (Code of Conducts) suggested by the Department of Fisheries, Thailand. As our group and also other groups in Rayong have been successful, I want to persuade all the shrimp farmers in Thailand to consider and using COC of Department of Fisheries. You need not follow every topic but at least you should not destroy the environment and not use chemicals. I think COC should be the standard for sustainable shrimp culture in Thailand.