Taprobane Aqua Services expands vannamei shrimp farming in Sri Lanka

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Taprobane Seafood Company announced a few days ago the creation of Taprobane Aqua Services, aimed at providing shrimp aquaculture products and services. Looking to diversify its business, the Sri Lanka-based company had started a vannamei shrimp farming program in 2019, and now receives an investment from the Atman Group to assist in its expansion.

Until two years ago, Taprobane was in business processing mainly blue crab at 15 facilities. Now, the company hopes to lead the sustainable growth of shrimp aquaculture in Sri Lanka, while also offering the country’s fish farmers post-larvae shrimp, equipment, training on farming methods, access to high-quality feed through a partnership with Skretting, and a 100% buy-back guarantee to its contracted fish farmers.

Now, the big challenge of the new initiative is to “showcase Taprobane’s project to drive a sustainable and environmentally friendly shrimp sector through controlled intensification,” says the company.

“As a pioneer and first mover in aquaculture, Taprobane Seafoods’ vision for growth and expansion also encompasses how Sri Lanka can develop this industry as a niche export segment that generates valuable foreign exchange for the country,” said Taprobane Seafoods CEO Timothy O’Reilly, Seafood Source. “The series of initiatives we have taken on the doorstep of 2022 reflects Taprobane’s blueprint for building the future of Sri Lanka’s shrimp industry, while ensuring diversification and value addition in our own operations.”

The company, which recently received 3-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification for its shrimp operations, has also partnered with Skretting so that it is able to supply premium aquafeed to small-scale farmers.

In this regard, Nutreco Vietnam and Skretting Excellence Asia CEO Marc Le Poul noted that “the Taprobane Group and its integrated approach plays the critical role that Sri Lanka needs to take advantage of the vannamei shrimp farming opportunity in the right way.”

According to the businessman, “vannamei shrimp farming is a global and competitive industry that requires technical capabilities, certain level of investments, serious traceability and sustainability commitments. Sri Lanka has all the potential to address these needs in the best way and become a major source of top quality products.” Skretting, a global leader in feed for.

More allies to meet industry challenges in Sri Lanka

Taprobane, which is a supplier to several major U.S. and global retailers, will offer SPF seedlings raised in its own hatchery from broodstock brought in from Hawaii.

It has also created a partnership with the Caterpillar company to facilitate the construction of shrimp ponds, allowing local entrepreneurs to rent, lease and purchase equipment, including heavy machinery and generators, to “One of the challenges of more intensive farming is power supply. So Taprobane, in collaboration with UTE (Caterpillar), plans to offer generators on a lease and rental basis to assist fish farmers when biomass is high and more power is needed,” O’Reilly explained. “In another strategic move, Taprobane has partnered with UTE to offer entrepreneurs equipment for lease or purchase for aquaculture.

Some of the benefits to small-scale producers under the new initiatives will be the reduction of middlemen and direct payment, thus ensuring good prices; collaboration with government on policies, regulations and infrastructure (e.g. electrification, canal dredging and roads). In addition, old-generation producers will be helped to use new technologies more quickly, and the change of mentality and the incorporation of farmers into new productions and platforms will be facilitated.

Collaboration with the government is also planned to change the negative view of shrimp farming, work on environmental protection, and 100% transparency within the sector to ensure the protection of human rights, explained Taprobane.

BAP Certification

Taprobane recently received the 3-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification for its shrimp operations. In this regard, O’Reilly said that “as the pioneer of vannamei shrimp in Sri Lanka and one of the largest and most fully integrated seafood companies, we are delighted to have finalized our BAP certification.” “SPF vannamei was only approved throughout Sri Lanka in June 2020, so the industry is still in its infancy. So, we felt it was important to move our organization and hopefully the industry toward BAP certification,” he adds.

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