Man-made ponds are helping to deal with the issues of food security in the Caribbean country of Antigua. Farm owner Kevin Alexander has established the Caribbean’s first freshwater prawn and crayfish farm. Alexander’s fish farm, Sea Springs Aquafarm, is reaching new heights with this product expansion. And thus far, it seems to be a success.
2500 breeder prawns were released to inhabit the pond and “have some fun,” according to Alexander. These starter prawns were spread over the farm’s eight ponds. As they grew, females with eggs were located and separated to ensure the healthy growth and survival of the eggs. After all, each female can carry 100,000 eggs at a time. In only 3 weeks, she is ready to lay those eggs. Therefore, it is imperative to prawn farming that each of those eggs lives to reproduce as well.
With a new net in tow, Alexander and his team performed their first harvest, and it proved to be off to a great start. One of the first prawns pulled from the harvest weighed in at 64 grams. And the good news is that the average prawn size is 50 grams.
Prawn vs. Shrimp: What’s the Difference?
If you are asking this question, you are not alone. Both are Decapod crustaceans. However, the two belong to different sub-orders, have different anatomies, and prawns do not curl, as shrimp do. Additionally, prawns are freshwater and are the larger of the two.
How do the locals feel about this freshwater prawn business? So far, they are taking great interest. In fact, one woman stated, “I can’t wait to try your freshwater prawns. We need more businesses like these to ensure Antiguans can feed their family safe and affordable food.”
Another commented, “I hope the government sees this and invests in the youth. Antigua has so much talent going to waste. We need to start teaching our young men and women how to fish instead of showing them how to live on government handouts.”
Being self-sustainable and providing for themselves can be a great source of pride for the young people of Antigua and the islands.
So, here’s to prawns for dinner.
CITED: YouTube.com, Caribbeanloopnews.com, oceanexports.com, Wikipedia.org, foodandwine.com