Technical manuals

Freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii farming in Pacific Island countries: Hatchery operation

The farming of freshwater prawn is expanding in Fiji and in the Pacific. The grow-out sector of the industry depends entirely on hatchery-produced postlarvae, and the primary problem facing this ‘infant’ industry is the unavailability of postlarvae. Due to expansion in production and the trend towards intensification of prawn farming, there will be a need for development of more hatcheries for production of postlarvae to meet the demands in the Pacific Island countries...Read More.  

October 9, 2019


Aquaculture of the giant river prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii is an emerging industry in the Pacific Island region. Increasing demand and rising prices for seafood are raising the profile of freshwater prawn as an important aquaculture commodity in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs).

Attempts during the last three decades to culture freshwater prawns in Hawaii, French Polynesia and New Caledonia have not had a lasting impact owing to high costs of production in these countries. Fiji has had some success in prawn farming, and Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea are moving in this direction. Other PICTs have been constrained by lack of technical capacity, particularly in hatchery operations.

Freshwater prawn farming is not as highly technical or capital-intensive as aquaculture of sea prawns (penaeid shrimp) and therefore is a more accessible industry for small-scale operators. Freshwater prawns can be raised in farming systems similar to those used for tilapia with and it can be more profitable than tilapia farming (depending upon the farm site and the skill of the farmer, as well as local prices and demand).

The major constraint to expansion of prawn farming in PICTs is difficulty in obtaining reliable supplies of postlarvae (PL), usually referred as ‘prawn seed’, for stocking into grow-out ponds. This book seeks to address this constraint and is based on experience of prawn hatchery techniques developed at Naduruloulou Aquaculture Station and at Marine Studies Laboratory, the University of the South Pacific, both in Fiji. 


Satya Nandlal, Secretariat of the Pacific Community


Timothy Pickering, The University of the South Pacific 


© Copyright Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Marine Studies Program, The University of the South Pacific, 2005

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