Brackish Shrimp Farming in Northeastern Brazil: The Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts and Sustainability


Despite the economic importance of farmed shrimp, a number of technical, environmental, economic and social problems have been widely reported in the international literature. This paper focuses on the environmental and socio-economic impacts of semi-intensive and intensive shrimp farming in the coastal region of Northeastern Brazil and the identification of options for sustainable production. In this Region, the total area dedicated to shrimp farming is approximately 18,500 ha, of which 5750 ha are located in Ceará State. The estuary of Jaguaribe river has the largest number of shrimp farms in the state of Ceará. Currently, the industry has 64 participating farms with a total area dedicated to shrimp farming of 2411.3 ha. In 2011, the total production was 13,110 tons of shrimp with an average yield of 6330 kg ha1.year-1 in a pond area of 2071.2 ha. This industry employs 2350 people that represent 23.2% of jobs generated in the two municipalities where the Jaguaribe river estuary is inserted. Compared with other countries, Brazil has reduced its exports due to high cost inputs for shrimp farming. However, the Brazilian shrimp industry has benefited from high domestic prices, despite the decreases in international price of shrimp. In 2011, the prices for size category ranged between U$ 4.67 - 6.04 for 80/100 (count of head-on shrimp), U$ 4.95 - 6.60 for 70/80 and U$ 5.

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T. Sá, R. Sousa, Í. Rocha, G. Lima and F. Costa, "Brackish Shrimp Farming in Northeastern Brazil: The Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts and Sustainability," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 538-550. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.48065.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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