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IDC boosts quality and sustainability of Coetivy prawn farm |03 February 2024

IDC boosts quality and sustainability of Coetivy prawn farm

The Islands Development Company is set to elevate the quality of its farmed prawns, with the imminent completion of a processing facility on Coetivy island.

Islands Development Company (IDC) deputy chief executive Christian Lionnet shared the news last week, revealing that the state-of-the-art processing plant, equipped with blast freezers and cold stores, is on the brink of completion despite some initial delays.

This facility will revolutionise the prawn production process, significantly reducing the time from farm to freezing. Previously, products were flown to Mahe to undergo processing.

"We expect that the prawns that will come on the market as of February onwards will be a product of even better quality," emphasised Mr Lionnet.

Additionally, the company plans to introduce the much-sought-after black tiger prawns to the market in October, following challenges faced during low-density trials last year.

A shipment of 240,000 black tiger prawn post-larvae from Singapore recorded a high mortality rate, attributed to the species' susceptibility to stress.

Given the setbacks and freight costs, IDC made the strategic decision to renovate an old hatchery on the island to supply the farm.

According to Mr Lionnet, the renovated hatchery is expected to be fully operational by June, reinforcing IDC's commitment to delivering on its promise of superior quality prawn production.

For now, IDC is meeting market demands with its white shrimp production. Although it was off to a slow start in terms of production, it managed to produce enough to meet demands by December 2023.

The company has set an ambitious goal, planning to produce between 160 to 170 tonnes of prawn products this year. Research indicates that Seychelles' annual prawn consumption amounts to around 190 to 200 tonnes.

In line with IDC's broader initiative to revive shrimp production in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner, the company aims to transition from traditional electricity sources to solar energy this year.

Chief executive of IDC Glenny Savy proudly highlighted the success of the Coetivy prawn project, noting substantial interest from retailers, hotels, restaurants, and the public.

"The prawn project on Coetivy is successful. The population really appreciates the quality of product on the market, and the pricing," stated Mr Savy.

The prawns produced by IDC are exclusively for the local market.

To kickstart the revival of prawn farming, the company refurbished nine old Seychelles Marketing Board (SMB) ponds in the north of the island for shrimp production.

IDC initiated trials in 2022, stocking the first pond with 150,000 white shrimp post-larvae, resulting in a successful harvest of 2.1 tonnes in April 2023.

The improvements in quality and sustainability are set to have a big impact on the market, providing consumers with an environmentally friendly seafood option.


Laura Pillay

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