A new study in Journal of the World Aquaculture Society suggests that, while larger shrimp consistently win over smaller shrimp of the same gender when competing for food, male shrimp will almost always beat female shrimp – even though adult males of the species are typically much smaller than the adult females of the same age.
“Both size and gender are important factors in acquiring food,” says study author Dustin Moss, “but when you pit male against female, gender becomes more important.” Moss says this supports the theory that female shrimp aren’t larger because they eat more food, but because they are more efficient at using what they get.
Currently, over 50% of the world’s shrimp supply comes from farming. As the industry tries to meet the growing demand for shrimp and shrimp-based products, identifying shrimp that grow more efficiently will be an important tool to maximizing production.
Dustin Moss is responsible for the technical management of a selective breeding program for Pacific white shrimp at the Oceanic Institute in Waimanalo, Hawaii.
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