The pond based outdoor production systems that are used abroad have been introduced in the US with limited success. Even in Florida, the winter is too cold and the growing season is limited. Research has therefore focused on indoor systems that can produce year round. Temperature control, the avoidance of airborne infectious diseases and the ability to control all environmental factors allows indoor systems to produce more consistent growth and higher yields. This is the same rationale that has moved chicken, pork and milk production indoors.
Indoor systems must overcome some traditional constraints as well as new ones. First, the production units had to be significantly smaller to simply fit inside. This has surprisingly become an advantage for indoor systems. Smaller systems are inherently easier to manage, thus preventing unnecessary problems. It’s easier to detect and alleviate issues more quickly when the tank is only 12 feet wide versus acres. A typical problem, for example, might be uneaten feed or occasional mortality, possibly due to an infection. Both predicaments are reversible if detected early enough, so potential negative effects on the water quality and the existing shrimp can be avoided. In the realm of large tanks and ponds, such problems are near impossible to detect before significant damage is inflicted.