The King Prawn (Litopenaeus vannamei) also known as the Whiteleg Shrimp or Pacific White Shrimp, is a variety of prawn from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The majority of the world’s King Prawns are commercially farmed in South and Central America and Southeast Asia.
natural HABITAT AND BIOLOGY
The King Prawn lives in tropical marine habitats and thrives in areas where water temperatures are normally around 20°C throughout the year. The adults live and spawn in the open ocean, while post-larvae migrate inshore to spend their juvenile, adolescent and sub-adult stages in coastal estuaries, lagoons or mangrove areas.
King Prawns mature at six to seven months old when their weight is upwards of 20g for males and 28g for females. A female weighing 30g to 45g will spawn 100,000 to 250,000 eggs of approximately 0.22 mm in diameter.
Hatching occurs about 16 hours after spawning and fertilisation. The first stage larvae, termed nauplii, live on their yolk reserves. The next larval stages eat phytoplankton and zooplankton and are carried towards the shore by tidal currents.
The post-larvae change their planktonic habit about five days after moulting into their post-larval stage. They move inshore and begin feeding on worms, bivalves and crustaceans.
We have created the conditions that mimic their natural environment, allowing our King Prawns to thrive.
Our King Prawns
Our delicious King Prawns are delivered fresh from Tank to Table in just a few hours from harvest, having never been frozen. We have the highest regard for animal welfare and operate in a truly sustainable manner. Unlike conventional prawn farming, our clean, clear water recirculating farm means we never use antibiotics, pesticides or vaccines. This creates an environment where our prawns are healthy, allowing them to thrive. These are locally produced King Prawns, with no air miles, meaning they really are the freshest King Prawns in the world!
Conventional Farming Impacts
The recent expansion of prawn aquaculture has generated many public debates over its impact on the environment and its sustainability:
• Salinization of groundwater and agricultural land
• Pollution of coastal waters by pond effluents
• Overuse of aquaculture feeds leading to inefficient use of vital protein sources and the disruption of marine ecosystems
• Biodiversity issues arising from collection of wild seed and broodstock and the introduction of non-native species and their attendant pathogens
• The use of protective mangrove ecosystems for pond construction and the ‘slash and burn’ style use of ponds for just a few years before moving to new areas
• Social conflicts with other resource users
• Farm discharges, causing self-pollution in prawn growing areas
Great British Prawns, working with partners and leading aquaculture academics, has taken on these challenges. Our farming system is a world first that aims to overcome them by using green energy to produce fresh King Prawns in clean, clear water with virtually no waste.