Cultivation Tips

How to Harvest Shrimp: Steps and Tips for Success [Complete Guide]

Kalyca Krisandini
Kalyca Krisandini
9 February 2024
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Harvesting is the final stage of shrimp farming. In its execution, they must pay close attention to the procedure of harvesting shrimp in order to maintain shrimp quality.

There are several technical preparations that must be made prior to harvesting. The shipment, tools, and, of course, manpower must all be readied. All of these aspects must be considered to ensure an expeditious harvesting process.

What are the Steps to Harvest Shrimp?

At least six stages must be performed during the shrimp harvesting process. To avoid degrading the quality of the harvested shrimp, all of these steps must be carried out properly.

1. Removing Water

For farmers planning to do a total harvest, the first step to harvest shrimp is removing water. Water should be removed to increase the effectiveness of harvest.

Water removal can be done gradually to anticipate stress in shrimp. This step can be skipped for farmers doing partial harvest.

2. Catching Shrimp

Catching shrimp is the first stage of harvesting. Harvesters will use a net to collect shrimp from the pond.

The main thing to remember is the technique. To avoid damaging the shrimp, do not overfill the net. Furthermore, this step is commonly carried out when the pond water temperature is not too high.

3. Washing and Sorting Shrimp

Shrimp is washed after being collected from the pond to remove mud, sand, and moss adhered to their bodies. Washing is also another way to maintain shrimp quality.

Shrimp that has been washed are then sorted by quality. To expedite the selling process, shrimp that are suitable for sale are sorted from those that are not.

The sorting step will produce three kinds of shrimp: fresh, BS (Below Standard), and KM (Kulit Muda). The shrimp is drained after sorting to minimize the amount of water in their bodies.

4. Sampling

The next step in the shrimp harvesting process is sampling. The harvester will determine the size of the shrimp to be harvested.

Sampling is done one pond at a time. For example, if there are ten ponds, sampling will be done ten times. This process is crucial to determine the price of the harvested shrimp.

5. Weighing Shrimp

Weighing is the next step in the shrimp harvesting process. An adjusted scale (tare weight) is used to weigh the shrimp in the basket. Later, the shrimps are weighed per several kilograms, such as 20 kg, 25 kg, or 30kg. Doing so eases the process of recording the shrimp tonnage obtained.

6. Packing Shrimp

The final step in the shrimp harvesting process is packing. Shrimp is placed in ice-filled fibers to prevent decomposition and maintain its quality until it reaches the warehouse or processing factory.

A layer-stack model is used to organize the shrimp and ice inside the fiber (ice-shrimps-ice-shrimps).

Afterwards, the packed shrimp is supplied with ice water in various volumes based on their placement in the truck or pickup car. After packing, the shrimp is shipped to the warehouse or processing factory.

How Long Does It Take Before Shrimp Can Be Harvested?

Many shrimp farmers target harvesting after the shrimp reaches the age of 100-120 days or when they reach a size of 20-40 g per individual.

The shrimp size is achieved through a well-designed feeding program. However, if the expected size is not achieved, a reevaluation of water quality, weather conditions, or shrimp health is necessary.

Furthermore, farmers must also take into account market conditions and consumer demand to determine the appropriate harvest timing.

2 Types of Shrimp Harvest

There are two methods for harvesting shrimp that farmers usually do, namely partial harvest and total harvest.

1. Partial Harvest

Partial harvest is taking only a part of the shrimp population from the pond and leaving the rest to be cultivated until a certain age. Partial harvest aims to reduce stocking density in ponds, lowering the risk of disease transmission and maintain the environmental carrying capacity.

Partial harvest can also increase productivity and profits because the size of the shrimp obtained at the end of cultivation will be larger.

2. Total Harvest

Total harvest is the activity of taking all the shrimp in the pond when their size has reached the target or sales criteria. Farmers may also consider total harvest if shrimp prices in the market show signs of significant drop.

However, farmers are advised against panic harvesting. Instead, find the most stable price and continue cultivating to reach the best price.

Tips for a Successful Shrimp Harvest that You Should Know

A good harvesting process results in good shrimp quality. After understanding the steps of shrimp harvesting, here are some tips you need to know when conducting the harvest, covering preparation before the harvest to the actual harvesting.

1. Make Sure Shrimp is Not in the Molting Stage

Molting shrimp will reduce the price as it is usually categorized under KM. Conduct sampling to ensure that less than 5% of shrimp is molting and less than 10% of them have soft shells.

Molting can be avoided during harvest, for example, by applying lime and 400-500 kg/ha of white cement. Additionally, the use of dolomite can also harden the shrimp's shell. Molting can also be prevented by increasing water pH and preventing shrimp from becoming stressed during harvesting.

2. Maintain Feeding Before Harvest

Feeding should still be done at least a day before harvesting. Stopping feeding before harvest can affect shrimp quality, as they will continue searching for food from the pond bottom. This can cause the hepatopancreas to enlarge and give a black color to the shrimp's head, reducing the quality of the shrimp due to its less attractive appearance.

3. Harvest at Low Temperature

The best time to harvest is at night during the new or full moon. Besides avoiding molting, temperatures are relatively lower at night. High temperatures can lead to high shrimp metabolism and potential stress, even causing them to die faster.

4. Harvest as Fast as Possible

Speed is a key factor of vannamei shrimp harvesting in ponds. To maintain shrimp quality, harvesting should be done as quickly as possible. Ideally, harvesting should be completed within a 3-hour duration.

The use of harvest gates can be an alternative and more efficient method, saving time and energy.

5. Reduce Water

Reducing water levels is a crucial step in total harvesting. Water should be reduced according to the total shrimp biomass, as excessive water during harvesting can prolong the duration and cause stress to the shrimp.


Panen Udang Harvest intends to collect cultivated shrimps in accordance with the economic value target. From catching the shrimps to packing, the quality of shrimp must be maintained so that its economic value remains high. Partial or total harvest can be chosen by carefully considering the pond’s carrying capacity and current shrimp prices.

When harvesting vannamei shrimp, make sure the shrimp is not in the molting stage. Continue feeding before harvest and harvest quickly when the temperature is low to avoid stress in shrimp.

Want to harvest your cultivated shrimp? JALA can assist you in making it happen. With JALA, the harvesting process will be carried out using meticulous and accurate SOP to maintain shrimp quality, with secure payment and wide market access. Contact JALA's team to harvest with us!

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