Shrimp Industry

The Crucial Sector in Shrimp Industry: Hatchery

Wildan Gayuh Zulfikar
Wildan Gayuh Zulfikar
26 October 2023

According to data from, Indonesia recorded the production of 943 thousand tons of cultivated shrimp in 2021. We need at least 56.5 billion shrimp fry annually if the average shrimp harvested were 20 grams per head and the survival rate (SR) reached 80%. The need for shrimp fry is much greater when referring to the production target of 2 million tons in 2024.

Shrimp seeds or fry are produced from hatcheries. They are produced by broodstock shrimp, which can lay eggs each reaching 100,000–250,000 eggs in one clutch. Unfortunately, not all eggs successfully hatch and grow to be shrimp larvae (nauplii), and not all nauplii can survive to become post-larvae (fry) that can be stocked into ponds. The average survival to post-larvae is around 40%. Hatcheries that produce shrimp fry with high SR typically produce seeds with great performance in cultivation.

Hatcheries will support the sustainability of cultivation in farms. Hatchery is one of the crucial keys in the shrimp industry. Modern and high-standard nurseries are required to produce high-quality seeds to fulfill cultivation needs.

Hatchery is the key point of high-quality shrimp fry

Shrimp fry production process

Shrimp are organisms that reproduce by laying eggs. Broodstock shrimp can be caught in nature or from domesticated shrimp. Broodstock that are ready to lay eggs are usually 1 year old and weigh >40 grams. Female shrimp begin their reproductive cycle when they are 8-10 months old, meaning that they will lay the maximum and regular amount of eggs at that time.

After the female shrimp is fertilized by the male shrimp and lays eggs, the eggs will hatch after 12-18 hours. In the hatchery, it takes 26-31 days for the eggs to grow into shrimp fry. Eggs that hatch grow into nauplii for 2 days, then zoea for 4-5 days, and then mysis for 3-4 days. Mysis then grows into post-larvae (PL) or commonly known as shrimp fry for 10-15 days. These are the shrimp fry that will be stocked in ponds. 

The important aspect in the operation of a hatchery

Maintaining biosecurity is the main focus in the operation of hatcheries. Hatcheries carry out strict procedures to produce disease-free shrimp fry. All of the processes at the hatchery require strict biosecurity implementation to prevent pathogen contamination.

Hatcheries also require a supportive location due to the need for water supply that is clean and free from industrial contamination. The production process in the hatchery will be hindered if its location is polluted by high concentrations of organic materials or industrial waste.

High-quality broodstock is also essential for hatcheries. To produce high-quality shrimp fry, broodstock with superior genes are needed. Broodstock that are free from disease infection are the most crucial one. If the broodstock is infected with a disease, the disease could be transmitted to the shrimp fry.

In addition, shrimp broodstock also need high-quality feed so that they always have energy and nutrients when they begin the spawning cycle. Fresh squids, clams, and blood worms (polychaeta) are high-quality feeds that must be provided for shrimp broodstock.

Challenges encountered by hatcheries

Hatcheries must be located in an area that is free from industrial waste or other cultivation activities, with access to clean water supply. At the same time, the location of hatcheries must be close to the cultivation center and have proper access. However, in reality, water quality becomes a challenge if the hatchery is close to a cultivation center. Disease is a major hatchery issue that must be avoided since the preparation of the water source. This is due to the necessity of properly filtering and sterilizing water sources.

In addition to location, the broodstock aspect also becomes a challenge for the hatchery business. In Indonesia’s hatchery business sector, the independence of domestic high-quality broodstock remains a major issue. To ensure broodstock quality, several hatcheries still rely on importing broodstock from abroad, such as from Hawaii and Florida (USA). Shrimp broodstock in Indonesian hatcheries is currently dominated by imported broodstock and the outcomes of the development of the Broodstock Center for Shrimp and Mollusk in Karangasem, Bali.

Distance also becomes one of the challenges encountered by hatcheries. This challenge might not arise on the island of Java, but rather in other regions that are beginning to open up new prospects for shrimp farms. Long distances will increase the distribution cost. With new cultivation centers established, hatcheries are necessary.

The aforementioned challenges can be reduced by improving logistics facilities and infrastructures. This solution can also be the answer to distribution and transportation issues. Distribution of hatcheries across a number or areas is also possible for anticipation. Shrimp farmers can rely on hatcheries in other areas if disease outbreaks happen in certain areas.

Things that need to be addressed by farmers

There are a lot of household-scale hatcheries nowadays. It should be noted that not all household hatcheries guarantee disease-free shrimp fry. Therefore, farmers must be careful since shrimp fry is one of the most crucial keys to successful cultivation.

According to farmers, high-quality shrimp fry are disease-free. There are, however, a lot of other determining aspects. Some of them are uniform physical size, active, stimuli-responsive, and so on.

When ordering shrimp fry, make sure the hatchery will include a disease-free certificate from laboratory test results. Several hatchery companies usually attach a shrimp fry certificate from the QA Lab of the hatchery which guarantees that the fry are free from disease infection or categorized as SPF (specific pathogen-free).

Furthermore, this disease-free certificate can be said to be mandatory. Therefore, farmers can rest assured that the fry do not carry the potential of disease. Even though their cultivation is not necessarily free from infection during the process, farmers must still implement strict biosecurity.


Despite the challenges, the hatchery business is one of the most promising business lines in the shrimp industry, given the big demand and the growing potential of needs. The basic foundation of hatcheries is the consistent production of high-quality shrimp fry. Furthermore, hatcheries must also be close to the shrimp cultivation center. 

Hatchery perlu menjaga kualitas produk benur karena persaingan di pasar semakin ketat. Untuk menjaga kualitas benur, setiap hatchery memerlukan sertifikasi untuk menjamin standar mutu benur yang dihasilkan yaitu dengan mengantongi CPIB (Cara Pembenihan Ikan yang Baik).

Hatcheries need to maintain the quality of their shrimp fry because the competition in the market is getting tougher. Each hatchery must be certified to guarantee the quality standards of the shrimp fry produced by obtaining good management of fish hatchery (CPIB).


Dugassa, H. And D. G. Gaetan. 2018. Biology of White Leg Shrimp, Penaeus vannamei: Review. World Journal of Fish and Marine Species. 10 (2): 5-17.
FAO. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme Penaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931). Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Key pointers for a successful shrimp hatchery | The Fish Site
Peran Sentral Hatchery Udang, Inti Akua | Trobos
Prospek Cerah Industri Hatchery Udang | INFOMINA
Tanpa Benur Tak Ada Udang, Tajuk |
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