shrimp culture in Hellas (Greece)

Penaeus japonicus image from

According to a report on shrimp culture in Hellas (Greece) by Kapiris Kostas of the National Centre for Marine Research in Athens, Greece; originally, two shrimp species were known to exist in the Mediterranean Sea. Five more species from the same family (Penaeidae) were found in the Hellenic sea waters having “emigrated” from the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal (Lessepsian migration). These species are: Penaeus japonicus, P. semisulcatus, Metapenaeus monoceros, M. stebbingi, and Trachypenaeus tapenaeus. It has been reported that there are some natural population of P. japonicus in the Adriatic Sea and in the region of Cadiz (Spain).

Shrimp is one of the most important catches in the entire world because of the flesh and commercial value. It is characteristic that shrimps were 19.7% of the total imports of the EEC (1993) and their selling prices in Hellas in 1995 increased about 42% (ABH Report, 1994). Kostas determines that it is clearly urgent to culture shrimp in Greece.

Hellenic climatic conditions are most favourable for this type of culture if a species which combines rapid growth rates with a great tolerance to physicochemical conditions is selected. Details about the reproduction and problems of the species culture must be resolved.

Although many problems have already been solved, efforts in Greece were not always successful. The reasons contributing to this lack of success are:
○ The lack of the Hellenic know-how of shrimp culture.
○ Expert foreign scientists were unavailable to help Greek scientists in aquaculture.
○ The non-existence of a state hatchery (broodstock section, larval rearing section).
○ The Ministry of Agriculture and banking establishments has never encouraged this type of culture.
○ The national research centers have never taken the initiative to act in shrimp rearing.
○ The Hellenic investors have low economic abilities and always are looking for ‘money for jam’.

There available grounds in Hellas for shrimp culture. Because of the exploitation of the coastal zones from tourism and agricultural sector there is a limited number of these places, but it is possible for the establishment of 4-5 units in some inshore areas in Thrace, Dodecanese, Peloponnese.


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