Until the year 1970, shrimps on the grocery market came from the ocean. They call it as shrimp boating. Until now, it is still popular but it has decreased significantly because shrimp farming flooded the market because of cheaper products.
As of now, the large portions of shrimps in the market place are coming from shrimp farms all over the world. The reason behind this is that shrimps from farms are available throughout the year and the prices per round are lower compared with shrimps from the ocean. Marketing shrimps starts with hatcheries. Shrimps will be hatched from hatcheries and they will be given time to develop until they are old enough to be marketed.
Shrimps that are old enough will be transferred to man-made ponds. They will be fed and taken care in made-made ponds until they are large enough for harvesting. They can be kept at different stages of life in different areas so farm owners can make more than one harvest every year. The price of running a shrimp boat operation is greater than making a shrimp farm. Because of this, farm owners do not charge to high for the products. However, when it comes to taste, the taste and quality of shrimps harvested from the ocean are higher than shrimps from shrimp farming.
When the shrimp are harvested from the farms, they will be sent to processing plants. In there, they will be cleaned, sorted, and packaged. If the harvest will be sent to far places, the products will undergo a flash freezing process. If the destination is not too far, they will only be packaged and sent out without going through a flash freezing process.
After the processing and repacking, they will be placed inside the refrigerated trucks and sent to seafood wholesalers. These sellers will be the contact point of grocery stores where they can buy their stocks in wholesale prices.
Southern Hemisphere is the largest source of shrimps for North America. Some of the countries here are China, India, Thailand and Vietnam. In 2004, almost 1 billion pounds of shrimp are imported to the United States. All of these came from the four countries in the Southern Hemisphere. The demand for shrimps continues to increase because a lot of consumers are looking for cheaper prices of seafood. Imported shrimp are cheaper than domestic shrimp but there are certain health issues on the imported shrimps especially the shrimps from China.