Budget and discharges of nutrients to the Gulf of California of a semi-intensive shrimp farm (NW Mexico)

Anselmo Miranda, Domenico Voltolina, Martín Gabriel Frías-Espericueta, Gildardo Izaguirre-Fierro, Martha Elisa Rivas-Vega


A previous study conducted in 1998 assessed yearly nutrient discharge by the Sinaloa and Sonora shrimp farms to the coastal areas of the Gulf of California (1,509.4 and 438.7 tons of N and P corresponding to 2.1 and 1.05% of the total nutrient discharges to the Gulf along those two states coastlines). However, that estimate did not take into account other nutrient sources, nor the high daily water exchanges of the farms of Sonora, that are likely to increase the calculated amount of nutrients discharged. The evaluation of the nutrient budget of one semi-intensive shrimp farm of Sonora, including the nutrient sources not measured in other studies, showed that during one production cycle this farm discharged 547 kg N·ha-1 and 73 kg P·ha-1, with respective net exports of 122 kg N·ha-1 and 14 kg P·ha-1. Based on the results of this study, the recalculated totals for Sinaloa and Sonora, including rivers, agricultural runoff, and urban wastewater were 77,007.7 and 38,108.3 tons of N and P, and those of shrimp farms 3,556 tons of N and 620.7 tons of P (4.8 and 1.6%). The total discharges of 2003 may be estimated at 78,798.2 and 38,874.1 tons of N and P. In view of its high groth rate, the contributions of shrimp culture would be 10.1% and 3.3%.

Palabras clave

Shrimp farm effluents; suspended matter; nutrient budget; eutrophication; Gulf of California.

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