More than 40 billion shrimp are grown annually, but many are not slaughtered humanely, says the Shrimp Welfare Project.

Ace Aquatec teams up with charity to promote humane shrimp slaughter

Dundee company's stunners will be loaned to 24 farmers across the globe

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Aquaculture technology innovator Ace Aquatec has partnered with UK-headquartered charity Shrimp Welfare Project to expand access to humane stunning solutions amongst shrimp producers globally.

Dundee-based Ace Aquatec said the collaboration reflects a growing understanding in the industry around the need to introduce more humane slaughter methods for shrimp, one of the world’s most widely produced aquatic species for human consumption.

Immersion in ice-water slurry remains a common method of slaughter around the world, but concerns are growing that this technique may not sufficiently stun decapods during the slaughter process.

Ace Aquatec said it places a strong focus on the welfare of the 400 billion-plus shrimp farmed each year because they can feel pain through the harvesting process. The company,  which already produces an award-winning in-water finfish stunner, added that its Prawn Humane Stunner Universal provides effective, safe and rapid in-water stunning solutions, stunning the shrimp unconscious in less than a second and reducing handling, and therefore stress. The prawn stunner was launched at Seafood Expo North America in Boston last year.

Ace Aquatec's prawn stunner.

Stunners on loan

The Shrimp Welfare Project aims to provide 24 shrimp producers across the globe with an electrical stunner, free of charge and on a limited time basis until the end of 2025, provided that they are willing and able to use the devices with some basic requirements. Producers need to be committed to a minimum stunned volume of 2,000 metric tonnes per annum and improving welfare practices to the best of their capacity.

The charity seeks to accelerate the adoption of electrical stunning for shrimp industry-wide and has so far provided producers in Latin America and Southeast Asia with access to stunning equipment.

Tara McGregor-Woodhams said there's an acute need for better slaughter.
Krzysztof Wojtas: "This partnership is a significant step in our mission."

Tara McGregor-Woodhams, chief sales and marketing officer at Ace Aquatec, said: “We’re proud to be collaborating with Shrimp Welfare Project to further our mutual goal of making humane stunning solutions accessible to shrimp farmers everywhere. With evidence pointing to shrimps’ sentience, and their sensitivity to inadequate slaughter methods, there’s an acute need to revolutionise shrimp slaughter processes globally. This partnership is taking steps to address the issue on an industry-wide scale, and we hope to expand it further in the coming months and years.”

Crucial for welfare

Krzysztof Wojtas, head of programmes at the Shrimp Welfare Project, said: “We are excited to partner with Ace Aquatec. Humane slaughter of animals is crucial for maintaining good welfare throughout the entire process.

“We are keen to actively collaborate with the shrimp farming industry and support them in making the transition towards humane slaughter. This partnership is a significant step in advancing our mission, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on shrimp welfare globally.”