Shrimp Improvement Systems Hawaii (SISH) welcomed more than 70 guests to the traditional Hawaiian blessing of its Hawaii Vannamei Nucleus Breeding Center. Local government and aquaculture representatives joined SISH president, Joe Tabrah and staff, along with senior management from Shrimp Improvement Systems Group (SIS), March 7, 2014.
Located at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) in Kona-Kailua, on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Vannamei Nucleus Breeding Center is a $10 million investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure. It includes more than 92,000 square feet under roof on two sites that cover 6.6 acres, housing a maturation hatchery building, nursery and growout buildings, two 5,000 square foot evaluation raceways and an effluent treatment facility.
SISH is part of Singapore-headquartered Shrimp Improvement Systems Group Pte. Ltd., the world\'s largest supplier of selectively bred, specific pathogen free (SPF) shrimp, with breeding operations in Hawaii, Florida, Singapore and India. Some 40 per cent of shrimp broodstock sold by SIS comes from the Hawaii operation.
For the past 15 years, SIS has conducted all vannamei selective breeding activities in Florida. SISH president, Joe Tabrah explained that in addition to the obvious advantages of consoliding all breeding and management functions in a single location, the decision to relocate the nucleus breeding center to Hawaii stemmed from a need to replace aging and inadequate infrastructure. The new facilities will allow SIS to broaden the scope of the breeding program to select for more commercially desirable traits, improve breeding efficiency by accommodating improved generation intervals and provide for replicated trials for growth and other traits to provide improved performance data as a basis for selective breeding decisions, he said.
\"The NELHA location offers a location with no endemic shrimp viruses and a strictly enforced biosecurity policy\", Tabrah said. \"It also offers more stable environmental conditions and avoids the high risk of hurricanes that we faced in the Florida keys\".
In addition to the commercial production of vannamei broodstock, SISH continues to invest more than $1.5 million a year into the seletive breeding of monodon with the expectation that this stock will be ready within the next two to three years. SISH has also recently developed an SPF stock of Pacific blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris) which is also now being selectively bred.
SISH currently generates revenues in excess of $9.5 million from broodstock shrimp sales. SISH plans to boost its staff from the 27 it now employs by a further 20, 16 of whom are being recruited locally.
Barbara Dalton, West Hawaii Representative of the Governor of the State of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, Joe Tabrah, President SISH and SIS Group senior management team join Kumu Keala Ching, Executive Director of Nā Wai Iwi Ola (NWIO) Foundation, who performed the official blessing ceremony.
(L-R) Kenneth Tay, Director Sales and Marketing, SIS, Dr. Harris Wright, Director Research and Development, SIS, Joe Tabrah, Kumu Keala Ching, Barbara Dalton, Dr. Dean Akiyama, Managing Director SIS and Il Phin, Financial Director, SIS.
The Hawaii Vannamei Nucleus Breeding Center includes more than 92,000 square feet under roof on two sites that cover 6.6 acres.