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Title: Economic and marketing of aquaculture in dredged material containment areas
Authors: C-K Associates, Inc.
Keywords: Aquaculture--Economic aspects
Fish culture
Dredging spoil--Economic aspects
Dredging--Economic aspects
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station.
Series/Report no.: Technical Report;EL-93-19
Abstract: High land and construction costs hinder development of pond-based aquaculture in the United States. A partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) may reduce these constraints. The dredged material containment areas (DMCA) operated by the USACE are structurally similar to aquaculture ponds and typically are used by the USACE only once every 3 to 10 years. With the Corps and navigational interests contributing to dike construction and land acquisition, the costs of aquaculture may be reduced while providing the Corps with the additional disposal areas needed to maintain our nation's waterways. The Containment Area Aquaculture Program (CAAP) was established to investigate the feasibility of DMCA aquaculture from biological, economic, engineering, and legal perspectives. The technical feasibility of DMCA's was demonstrated in 42- and 47-ha DMCA's near Brownsville, TX. Pumps, filters, and drainage structures were added to these DMCA's to accommodate aquaculture operations and a 1.6-ha nursery pond was constructed. During a 3-year period, four crops of penaeid shrimp were raised. Production rates averaged 670 kg/ha of whole shrimp (range: 338 to 1,143 kg/ha) with 51 percent survival (range: 23 percent to 74 percent). Total production for the four crops was 116,088 kg of whole shrimp (71,878 kg tails), and this was sold for over $475,000. This report gives a general overview of the economics and marketing of aquaculture products raised in DMCA's. AQUADEC, a computer program developed under the Florida Sea Grant Program for examining the feasibility of aquaculture enterprises, was used to generate financial statements for the Brownsville demonstration project, including cost recovery schedules, loan amortization schedules, income statements, monthly cash flow statements, balance sheets, and operating budgets. Exact values for these parameters cannot be obtained because of differences between the input requirements of AQUADEC and the records kept by the Corps and contractors running the demonstration farm; however, some general conclusions can be made. The Brownsville shrimp farm showed that aquaculture in a DMCA is feasible, based on both yield and production costs. Compared to a typical aquaculture operation, the major potential incentive to using a DMCA is the reduction in pond construction costs. For the demonstration project, the combined capital savings from having USACE participation was estimated at $271,000, or about $1,200 per acre. In an industry known for scarcity of funds available from financial institutions, this capital savings is valuable. The value of using a DMCA beyond the initial construction costs are difficult to estimate and probably would vary significantly on a project-by-project basis. Several hypothetical aquaculture enterprises were studied to examine the trade off between reduced construction/operation costs and reduced access to the ponds because of dredging operations. All operations involving catfish, crawfish, hard clams, and hybrid striped bass should benefit from using DMCA's. These simulations were done with a series of six Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets that can be easily modified to investigate specific scenarios. The worksheets accept and calculate data for construction costs, initial investment costs, annual variable costs, annual fixed costs, annual sales and summary, annual income statements, and annual cash balance statements.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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