H.L. Corrales; C.A. Lara; J.E. Heerin; J.M. Wigglesworth; B.W. Green
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Abstract: Annual global capture fisheries destined for human consumption have leveled off at around 60 million metric tons in recent years. Additional supplies from aquaculture are important to provide for future demand for seafood. Shrimp aquaculture is a relatively new activity that has grown significantly since the 1980s. Compared with development of traditional agriculture practices, there is a great potential for improvement in shrimp cultivation techniques that must come from research and development. Producers, producer organizations, and other development agencies must take a more active role in research activities. A program of field research was established during the last several years to determine and optimize production practices to achieve an environmentally sustainable system in Honduras. To assure sustainability of the activity, water quality trends will guide how much additional production area should be developed based on the elaboration of models to estimate the carrying capacity of individual estuaries. Honduras is a good example of producers, researchers, and government working together to define and optimize sustainable shrimp farming practices. There are substantial improvements to be made in decades to come. Continued support in the areas of water quality, health management, nutrition, and genetics is essential to assure the long-term viability of shrimp farming for producers and the environment.