Use of native and non-native shrimp (Penaeidae, Dendrobranchiata) in world shrimp farming.
The 2013 global farmed shrimp production totalled 4.3 million tons, whereas the production of Litopenaeus vannamei as non-native species represented the 64% of that amount. The risks of introducing non-native or exotic species are a growing environmental concern. Therefore, the objective of this study was to discuss updated information about the introduction of non-native species and to evaluate the efficiency indicators of non-native species in contrast to native ones. The results of a systematic revision of the publications about shrimp farming are presented, comparing the zootechnical performance of native and non-native species, with the use of meta-analysis tools. The conducted search returned 4680 results, corresponding to the articles that included one of the criteria previously established by the present work. Seven publications, which included 22 studies, met the requirements for the meta-analysis. The effect size calculated was positive, meaning that, according to the considered data, the use of non-native species resulted generally in higher values of growth rate in relation to the native species observed. Other aspects like the emergence and dissemination of the main viral diseases affecting global shrimp farming were also revised. We conclude that, although the advantages of using non-native species, especially L. vannamei, over native species are clear, there are enough compelling evidences to support the viability of small-scale native species farming. We also discussed why big companies, governments and associations related to the production and commerce of farmed shrimp should finance and support the development of native species farming.