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Research project

Adaption of the brackishwater aquaculture in India for climate resilience through diversification of crop species

Project overview

Brackishwater aquaculture is dominated by shrimp farming in India and wider Asia. Production across Asia contributed an estimated 3.75 million metric tonnes (MT) to a global production of 4.5 million MT in 2018. Shrimp production makes an essential contribution to Global Food Security.
However, shrimp production has become globally dominated by a single species, the Atlantic white shrimp Penaeus vannamei. This presents an extremely high risk to the sustainable development of the industry. Global productivity is, today, extremely sensitive to crop failures resulting from climate-linked extreme weather (e.g. heavy monsoon) and disease outbreaks.
Our pilot project, which built on a successful existing collaboration between the UK and India – constrained the salinity tolerance of different species of penaeid shrimp. We developed regionally-resolved climate forecasts of future Indian monsoon to constrain laboratory experiments on shrimp, and combined these observations with samples collected from culture ponds after heavy rainfall, so-called freshet events. We sought to develop mechanistic understanding of differences in salinity tolerance between species but also between individuals within a single species, capturing the true potential for species adaptation.


Lead researcher

Professor Chris Hauton PhD, FRSB, FMBA

Head of School

Research interests

  • Hauton has worked extensively with colleagues in India and Bangladesh since 2015 and has developed an international profile in shrimp health research, including contributing to the development of a mobile phone app, the 'Chingri Shrimp App', to support shrimp farmer training in Bangladesh.
  • Research has also included quantifying the potential toxic risk of deep sea mining of mineral resources. He was part of the leading team of the EC FP7 MIDAS Project, exploring the ecological risk of deep-sea mining, outputs from which led to contributions to the Royal Society Foresight Future of the Sea report (2016/17), to presentations at the UN International Seabed Authority in Jamaica, and expert contributions to the UN ISA ISA Legal and Technical Commision ISBA/27/C/11 'Guidelines for the establishment of baseline environmental data.'
  • Other activity
Other researchers

Professor Robert Marsh

Professor of Oceanography and Climate

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups