Wild Seed — Seafish

Tiger Prawn

Penaeus monodon

Wild Seed

The greater availability of hatchery-reared vannamei post-larvae to warm water prawn farmers has led (in part) to the widespread establishment of vannamei as the most farmed prawn species in the world, however work continues to advance and commercialise domestication (and selective breeding) of monodon1.

Several companies and institutions are developing or have developed fully domesticated monodon stocks and produce SPF or SPR post-larvae2, 3, 4, 5. Further advances in monodon captive breeding on commercial scales will eventually enable producers to access post-larvae for on-growing and reducing the need for wild seed collection on which monodon aquaculture still relies6.

The use of wild broodstock may pose risks of disease transmission from the breeders to the offspring and potentially result in disease outbreaks, whilst the removal of potential breeding individuals may impact on local prawn populations7, 8. Although hundreds of thousands of adult monodon are required to produce the billions of post-larvae needed by farmers, the total number of landed adults destined for hatcheries may be considered relatively small in comparison to the many thousands of tonnes of wild prawn (including monodon) caught by the trawling industry each year8.

Many certification schemes currently allow for the capture and use of wild monodon broodstock, however they state broodstock should be sourced from approved fisheries, and a reduction in the use of wild‐caught broodstock should be demonstrated over time. The only exception to this is for extensive culture where producers are allowed to grow the shrimp that are trapped in coastal ponds after having been carried in on tidal currents.

As well as certification schemes, there has also been increasing regulation, uptake of Best Management Practices (BMPs), codes of conduct or practices in warm water prawn aquaculture which help in tackling the use of wild seed and broodstock.


  1. Hoa, N.D., 2009. Domestication of black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) in recirculation systems in Vietnam. PhD Thesis, Ghent University, Belgium, 2009.
  2. Unima
  3. CSIRO
  4. SGIC
  5. Kona Bay
  6. Benzie, J.A.H., 2009. Use and Exchange of Genetic Resources of Penaeid Shrimps for Food and Aquaculture. Reviews in Aquaculture Special Issue on Use and Exchange of Genetic Resources of Cultured Aquatic Organisms, Vol. 1, Iss 3-4, 2009 p232-250
  7. Cocker, L.M., 2014. Farmed marine Shrimp in Vietnam. Seafood Watch (in prep)
  8. Norman-Lopez, A. et al, 2016. Productivity benefits of selectively breeding Black Tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) in Australia. Aquaculture Research. Vol 47, Iss 10, 2016 p3287-3299