Shrimp Industry

Differences Between Marine Shrimp and Farmed Shrimp: The Complete Guide

19 January 2024
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Before starting a shrimp cultivation, shrimp farmers should begin by learning about the differences between marine shrimp and farmed shrimp. Due to living in different habitats, both have distinctive characteristics and needs, thus requiring a different approach in maintaining their growth.

For the complete guide to the differences between marine and farmed shrimp, check out the full explanation below!

8 Differences Between Marine and Farmed Shrimp

Marine and farmed shrimp can be distinguished by their physical characteristics, reproduction, and other aspects.

1. Physical Characteristics

In general, marine and farmed shrimp have bodies that can be divided into three main parts: head, thorax (chest), and abdomen. However, the thorax of marine shrimp covers the head to the abdomen, while in farmed shrimp or freshwater shrimp, the head overlaps with the thorax, which also overlaps with the abdomen. Therefore, farmed shrimp cannot fully bend their bodies.

2. Type of Shrimp

Marine and farmed shrimp come in different types. Some types of marine shrimp are:

  • Banana shrimp (Fenneropenaeus merguiensis), a type of shrimp that can be found in Indonesian seas and is widely caught due to its high economic value.
  • Banded coral shrimp (Stenopus hispidus), a type of shrimp unique to Indonesian waters and is usually kept as aquarium decorations due to its attractive red and white bands all over its body.
  • Jinga shrimp (Metapenaeus affinis), a type of shrimp with a grayish body covered in dark spots, popular in various cuisines.

Several popular types of farmed shrimp are:

  • Vannamei shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), known for its distinctive white legs and popular for cultivation due to fast harvest time and good economic value. Although it is a marine shrimp, it is more commonly cultivated in farms.
  • Asian tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), another type of marine shrimp that is commonly cultivated and can grow up to 35 cm, known for its bluish-green color and stripes on the body.
  • Giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), a shrimp with a cone-shaped head, long curved rostrum, and claws longer than its legs.

3. Reproduction

Both marine and farmed shrimp reproduce by carrying eggs on the lower part of their bodies. However, farmed shrimp don’t usually reach the reproduction stage as they are harvested from farms.

4. Ideal Living Conditions

Due to their distinctive environments, one of the fundamental differences between marine and farmed shrimp is the ideal conditions required for their optimal living and growth.

Here are the ideal parameters for marine shrimp:

  • Temperature: 24-28°C
  • Salinity: 5-40 ppt
  • pH: 8.0-8.4
  • Alkalinity ≤ 150 ppm

Farmed shrimp require slightly different parameters as follows:

  • Temperature: 26-32°C
  • Salinity: 15-30 ppt
  • pH: 7.5-8.5
  • Dissolved oxygen (DO) > 4 ppm
  • Alkalinity: 100-150 ppm
  • Total organic matter ≤ 90 ppm

5. Food Source

Living in the open sea, marine shrimp consume naturally occurring food in the sea, such as plankton and other marine organisms. Marine shrimp also feed on small marine plants.

Due to being cultivated in shrimp farms, farmed shrimp consume more controlled feeds with the necessary nutrients, containing protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids.

6. Taste

Farmed shrimp are known for their softer and slightly sweet taste, as they have more meat and thinner skin. Therefore, pond shrimp are suitable for dishes with a tendency towards milder flavors. On the other hand, marine shrimp have a stronger and more savory taste, and some can be sweeter. Due to these taste characteristics, they are more suitable for dishes with stronger seasonings.

7. Price

Marine shrimp are generally more expensive in the market compared to freshwater or farmed shrimp because they require a more complicated process in catching them. Meanwhile, farmed shrimp are relatively easy to cultivate and harvest from ponds.

According to Borneonews, the price of medium-sized marine shrimp at the end of 2023 was Rp 80.0000 per kg. As cited from JALA’s Shrimp Price portal, farmed vannamei shrimp of similar size was priced at Rp 50.000-Rp 60.000 per kg during the same period.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries also aimed for shrimp cultivation production to reach 2 million tons in 2024, based on the high market demand due to high volume demand each year.

8. Quality

The final difference between marine shrimp and farmed shrimp lies in their quality. In terms of quality, farmed shrimp have better quality than marine shrimp due to environmental factors. Farmed shrimp live in a carefully maintained and regulated environment, while marine shrimp live in the wild, where the environment is often polluted, making it difficult to control the substances absorbed by marine shrimp.

As long as shrimp farmers pay attention to the conditions and hygiene of their ponds, such as regularly changing the water and implementing biosecurity measures, the farmed shrimp may be comparable to marine shrimp.


Those are some differences between marine shrimp and farmed shrimp, which cover their physical characteristics, reproduction, to taste and price. If you decide to start shrimp cultivation, make sure to use JALA App to put your farm on the path of success!

JALA App helps you record, monitor, and understand your cultivation conditions more thoroughly and conveniently. Register yourself on and download the mobile version on Google Play Store or App Store to start your cultivation journey with JALA.

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