One of the ways to increase the production of shrimp cultivation is to conduct simple technology, for example the eyestalk ablation technique. Eyestalk ablation technique is the removal process of the eyestalks of shrimps or crustaceans to stimulate the moulting and/or spawning process. In shrimp cultivation, this technique is conducted to stimulate the maturation of gonad and the reproduction of broodstock. Thus, the process of shrimp seedlings supply can be easily done according to the desired time.
The eyestalk ablation technique uses the hormonal system in the shrimps’ body. In the shrimps’ eyestalks, the X-organ, which produces gonade inhibiting hormone (GIH), inhibits the development of sperm, egg, and the Y-organ. The Y-organ produces gonade stimulating hormone (GSH) to stimulate the development and growth of sperm in male shrimp and ovary in female shrimp. However, ablation is often practiced on female shrimps since the development and formation of sperm in male shrimps haven’t been proven to result in additional reproduction.
Research on ablation has been conducted in many parts of the world, and numerous shrimp species, Litopenaeus vannamei, have been indicated to respond to this technique. Therefore, the eyestalk ablation technique has become a common practice in the shrimp industry and in several shrimp ponds.
The ablation technique can be done through three methods, namely unilateral, bilateral, and cauterization. These three methods aim to remove the sinus glands that release the reproductive inhibiting hormone. However, the most popular method is the unilateral ablation since it’s simpler, by cutting one of the eyestalks using a scissor.
Nowadays, the eyestalk ablation technique is the only common technique that can provide maturation and spawning results that match the predictions and is easy to do. However, since eyestalks are the source of numerous hormones including those needed for moulting, sugar balance, and metabolism, there are many harmful side effects that emerge. Ablation often causes exhaustion to the spawned shrimps. Moreover, the shrimps might have impaired fatty acid metabolism, decreased gamete quality, swim obliquely, and feel stressed. However, there are several efforts that can be done to minimize stress, for example by keeping the shrimps in the cold water before and after the ablation. In addition, the eyestalk ablation technique should be conducted carefully so as not to damage the tissues or other organs of the shrimps.
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