A new association has been officially formed for the purpose of facilitating the rapidly growing prawn and shrimp farming industry in the US.

Called the US Prawn and Shrimp Growers Association, members will promote and protect the interests of prawn and shrimp farmers. Currently about 80% of the shrimp consumed in the US are imported. According to figures reported in World Shrimp Farming 2001, farmed shrimp represent 40% of world production with an estimated 10% of that total being grown in the Western Hemisphere, principally in Central and South America.

The news has been welcomed by various industry groups. Among them, shrimp processor Global Seafood Technologies Inc announced that its VP, Clay Gutierrez, has been elected as a founding member of the board of directors.

Gutierrez commented: “The formation of this association is a major milestone in the development of a broader based freshwater shrimp and prawn farming industry. Our objective is to share research and production methods in order to educate more farmers to the opportunities in this emerging aquaculture.”

Other board members include industry representatives from Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Steve Fratesi from Mississippi was elected association president.