In the US, a Texas-based shrimp company has successfully developed and implemented a technology for producing fresh, high-quality shrimp in a closed, recirculating, saltwater environment that is both reliable and cost-effective.

Doug Ernst, Ph.D., Vice President of Science and Technology at NaturalShrimp, located in La Coste, Texas, stated that the company utilizes ozone as a sophisticated method for water treatment. The ozone is used to disinfect the water.

Dr. Doug Ernst further explained that the use of ozone in water treatment is crucial for bacterial disinfection, elimination of dissolved organics, and removal of fine particulate solids. Without such treatment, these harmful bacteria and waste products could accumulate to harmful levels in recirculating aquaculture systems, leading to negative consequences.

To accomplish their water treatment objectives, NaturalShrimp employs an ozone system provided by Ozone International, consisting of plasma block ozone generators, air compressors, oxygen concentrators, and internet connectivity for both local and remote monitoring purposes.

According to Mr. Ernst, the ozone water treatment process can be divided into two distinct technical areas: ozone generation and its application to water. He further elaborated that it is essential to have both components working seamlessly together. Ozone International supplies the ozone generation equipment, allowing NaturalShrimp to concentrate on effectively applying the ozone to their water treatment process.

Mr. Ernst started working with NaturalShrimp in 2003 as a consultant, and later joined the staff in 2005.

In addition to its primary function of disinfecting, the use of ozone also has the added benefit of providing oxygen to the shrimp through the gas flow from the oxygen-ozone generation system. Mr. Ernst explained that supplying dissolved oxygen to the shrimp is necessary, and utilizing ozone in this manner is a cost-effective means of achieving this objective.

Shrimp aquaculture in North America is typically limited to seasonal open ponds, where fresh shrimp commands a higher price. However, frozen shrimp sold out of season faces strong competition in the global market, leading to the closure of many US aquaculture operations. NaturalShrimp, on the other hand, operates a closed system and is able to farm year-round.

Mr. Ernst is optimistic about the future of ozone in aquaculture, particularly in closed operations located away from coastal areas. He believes that there are many emerging applications for ozone in this field.

According to Mr. Ernst, NaturalShrimp is essentially a small farming operation and the ozone equipment used in their system is complex and requires specialized expertise for installation and maintenance. Given their financial constraints, they cannot afford to have a dedicated staff member to manage ozone generation. Therefore, they are pleased with the ozone generator leasing and service agreement provided by Ozone International.