LAS VEGAS, NV. (January 24, 2012) – Raising healthy, sustainable shrimp in a unique environment is the business model of Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp and they were recognized for their state-of-the-art science with the Innovation Award at the 5th Annual … Continue reading
What is Sustainability?
Sustainable seafood is either fished or farmed in such a manner that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. The sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware about both overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods.
How Are We Sustainable?Sustainability is not a just a marketing slogan but a way of life for Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp. Sustainability is the true essence of our company and the heart of our technology. We have been able to create a process which not only meets all known certification “labels” but we have set a standard which, until now, have not been obtainable by any other. One of the key elements of achieving sustainability is the ability to provide net gains in protein to society. Traditional shrimp aquaculture systems utilize up to 1.4 pounds of fish meal or oils for each pound of shrimp production. This is a very poor conversion ratio. Blue Oasis’s feed conversion ratio is close to 1:1 of which only .8 pounds is protein. As a result, we do achieve our goal by obtaining a net gain of protein. Blue Oasis has improved this conversion rate by 80% vs. typical aquaculture. The other aspects of sustainability revolve around our ability to produce a superior product in a closed loop system with no effluent discharge, sludge removal or flocculation procedure. This allows Blue Oasis to produce a product that has zero harmful effects on the environment or wild fish stocks.
Carbon FootprintShipping, freezing and storing shrimp from half way around the globe requires the use of vast amounts of energy. Blue Oasis’s technology for its self contained, 100% closed loop system can be located close to every major market. Facilities can be place anywhere in the world and for the first time, seafood sustainability can be achieved without any harmful side effects to the environment while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint. Fresh, never frozen shrimp can be produced without the high fuel usage of international shipping and then being trucked long distances across the United States, while required to be maintained in a frozen state for periods of three to six months or greater.
Blue Oasis vs. Traditional Shrimping
The statistics are staggering. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that 80 percent of fisheries are fully exploited, overfished, depleted, or recovering from depletion. At the same time, poor fish farming practices can cause a suite of negative impacts ranging from water pollution to altered ecosystems.
Bycatch and Discards: Shrimp fisheries are the greatest single source of discarded by catch, accounting for one-third of the world’s discarded catch, while producing less than two percent of global seafood Kelleher, 2005). Bycatch includes fish, crustaceans and occasionally turtles. At its worst, in some tropical areas the bycatch-to shrimp ratio can be up to 10-to-1. Proper gear selection can bring that down substantially. For every pound of U.S. Gulf of Mexico shrimp landed, 4.5 pounds of fish and crabs are caught at the same time, much of which is discarded (Harrington et al., 2006). The Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery has the highest estimated discards on any single fishery (Kelleher 2005).
4 kilograms – of ‘bycatch’ discarded by Gulf Coast shrimpers for each kilo of shrimp kept (Source: USA Today).
Habitat Damage: Shrimp trawls drag weighted nets along the ocean floor, which can tear up aquatic plants, sponges and corals or flatten the seafloor habitat. Fortunately, most shrimp are caught on soft bottoms, less vulnerable to trawling.
Mangroves Shrimp farms are commonly located in coastal, tropical areas. Over the past two decades, nearly one quarter of the world’s tropical mangrove forests were destroyed, in part to make way for shrimp farms. While this trend has slowed, at one point 40 percent of the small shrimp farms in Asia displaced mangroves (Clay & Boyd, 1998). Impact on Wild Fisheries Farmed shrimp are fed a diet that includes wild caught fish as an ingredient. For every ton of shrimp that is farmed, 1.4 tons of wild fish are used as a feedstock (Tacon and Metian, 2008). Pollution When farmed in dense concentrations, shrimp can produce substantial waste. Many industrial shrimp farmers use chemicals like antibiotics or pesticides and, typically, untreated effluent waters flow into the surrounding environment (Miranda et al., 2007; Xuan Le et al., 2005). Additionally, shrimp are known to carry exotic diseases that can threaten both commercial production and wild shrimp populations (Briggs et al., 2005).
Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp
Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp has developed a proprietary, state-of–the-art, bio-filtration system to raise salt water shrimp in a self-contained, indoor pond system under conditions designed for optimum quality and growth. Essentially, this indoor facility creates the perfect water environment for growing shrimp that is sustainable, pollution free, and has zero impact on the earth’s environment. The science behind the technology has been created to manage the dissolved oxygen concentrations as well as an a natural means to mitigate all of the issues associated with the use of the element nitrogen.
The second element is the fact that Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp can be produced to be certified 100% naturally grown. Although there is not a current Organic seafood certification program, Blue Oasis is working closely with several organizations to help set the standard by which all others must abide by.
The third element is that no chemicals or antibiotics are used in growing Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp. Because of the high mortality rates in conventional aquaculture, antibiotics are used to help combat disease. These antibiotics are currently illegal in seafood sold in the US. However, the over sea’s shrimp farmers have been getting much more sophisticated at their ability to taper the antibiotics off prior to harvest which makes detection much more difficult. Additionally, the excessive use of antibiotics breeds anti-biotic-resistant bacteria. High levels of an antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria known as vibrio has been found in overseas shrimp production ponds. Vibrio bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning in the US. Another chemical applied to most imported frozen shrimp is call Tri-Poly Phosphate (TPP). The addition of TPP helps the frozen shrimp appear larger in size and weight because of the retained water when in fact the shrimp is much smaller in size and weight. TPP also affects the taste because the water retention. Since water has no taste, so does your shrimp. Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp contains no preservatives (like sodium bisulfites), which are often used to mask unsavory appearance and to extend shelf-life.
The fourth element is centered on the fact that Blue Oasis’s feed conversion ratio is close to 1:1. Standard aquaculture ratio’s are in the 1:1.8 range which means that for every one pound of growth 1.8 pounds of feed are required for the shrimp to reach harvest size. This is a key point because most shrimp feed is some combination of fish emulsion which translates into 1.8 pounds of fish to create one pound of finished product. This is a very poor conversion ratio. Blue Oasis has improved this conversion rate by 80% vs. typical aquaculture. Blue Oasis utilizes fish protein from waste produced by the processing of other seafood products increasing the usage factor of each fish caught/harvested.
There is very little in which Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp shares from its aquaculture predecessors other than the fact that each produces shrimp. The new technologies developed by Blue Oasis makes the other techniques obsolete. The world’s environment organizations have been applying pressure for the industry to change. One of the leaders in this category is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Each year the Monterey Bay Aquarium produces comprehensive reports on the state of the oceans. This year’s report “state of seafood” gives hope to improving the worlds sustainable seafood supply through consumer education and commitment to buying sustainable seafood products. Monterey Bay Aquarium also publishes a “seafood watch” list. This list compiles the best and worst seafood to consume based on the sustainability and overall impact to the world oceanic ecosystems. One of the items on the top of the “worst” seafood to buy and consume list is shrimp. Blue Oasis is in a unique position to change this rating from the worst to the best.
Blue Oasis’s facility was created with recycling as much used raw building materials as possible, from the pond structures to the building itself. The proprietary lighting system and air handling system was designed for maximum energy efficiency and effectiveness. Proprietary computer programs and phone applications have been created to minimize paper usage in the operation of Blue Oasis.
Although Blue Oasis’ aquaculture is a shrimp farm, it is designed to consume as little water as a typical household. Since the ponds are a 100% closed loop system there is never a need to refill ponds after the initial one time fill. Being an indoor facility Blue Oasis will capture and reclaim almost 100% of water lost due to evaporation. Water usage for sanitizing/cleaning will be greatly reduced by use of low water flow high pressure water system. For the protection of the shrimp and the environment, an ozinating system will be used in conjunction with the high pressure washer to eliminate the use of dangerous and harmful cleaning products.