Kuruma Prawn

Marsupenaeus japonicus

Common Name(s)

English: Kuruma shrimp, Japanese tiger shrimp, flowery prawn, Japanese king prawn ; French: Crevette kuruma ; Spanish: langostino japonés


There is evidence that many of the potential environmental risks of the operation are managed at some level, however risks are not fully mitigated, and there is still room for improvement.


At least one of the environmental risk criteria has been scored high risk, and this is having a significant impact on the sustainability of the operation.

Traditional Chinese

花竹蝦 ("Far Chuk Ha"), 花尾蝦 ("Far May Ha"), 花蝦 ("Far Ha")

Simplified Chinese



Hipon bulik

Date of Assessments

September 2020

Peer Reviewer

Dr Jose Domingos, James Cook University, Singapore

Assessment Organisation

RS Standards




  • Kuruma prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicus) is a marine prawn belonging to the Penaeidae family, and one of the most valuable shrimp species in aquaculture. It is distinguishable from other tiger shrimp species by the bright blue markings on the tip of their tails.
  • The species is native to the Indian and western Pacific oceans, and is currently farmed in Japan, China, Taiwan, and France. Australia and Korea had previously cultured Kuruma prawn as well, but all operations in these countries have been ceased for several years.
  • According to the FAO, nearly 54,000 tonnes of Kuruma prawn were produced through aquaculture in 2017, 97% of which came from China.
  • Data regarding specific production details and trade from China is notoriously difficult to locate, as much of this government information is not publicly available.
  • Further, what is available is often misreported, and confused with other shrimp species such as Penaeus monodon and Litopenaeus vannaemei.

Pond Culture (warm water prawn)

Warm water prawn is farmed in ponds in many parts of the world. These ponds are open air and typically found nearby to a coastal water body, used as the water source. Some ponds may be lined to prevent erosion, though a sandy bottom is recommended so that the prawns may burrow. Aeration is important, and many ponds exhibit a fountain or paddle wheel for this purpose. Warm water prawn are sensitive to high ammonia levels, which can be reduced by avoiding overstocking and overfeeding. High water temperatures, which can create algal blooms, and low salinity are also a threat to the prawn.

  • The latin species name
  • Evidence of the country of origin, name and location of the farm
  • Evidence that the farm is compliant with national regulations
  • Evidence that production is controlled in a way that minimises impact on the wider marine environment (i.e. there is local planning, water quality testing etc.)
  • Evidence of where the seed originates
  • Evidence that the seed used on the farm has come from sustainable sources
  • Evidence of where the feed originates
  • Evidence that the feed used on the farm has come from sustainable sources
  • Evidence that the farm does not use any banned medicines / chemicals
  • Evidence that there is a plan / procedure in place to manage animal husbandry


No Known FIP


  • Kuruma prawn production in China can be considered to be a high risk.
  • This is due to environmental impacts not being systematically taken into account during the granting of permits, sources of feed being largely undocumented, and likely use of prohibited medicines.
  • Kuruma prawn production in China is also very dependent on collection of seed from the wild.
  • Despite its high value, the kuruma prawn represents a small portion of total Chinese shrimp aquaculture production, due to the need for low stocking densities required for survival.
  • Pond culture is the primary method for farming kuruma prawn in China, though mariculture is becoming more popular and experiments with ‘layered’ farming are taking place.
  • Kuruma prawn production in Japan can be considered to be a medium risk
  • Japan has a reasonably effective regulation in place that take into account environmental considerations during site planning. Feeds are formulated from artemia and rotifers. Whilst disease remains an issue for kuruma prawn in Japan, the use of medicines and chemicals are regulated.
  • There is some hatchery-based production of seed from wild broodstock. Japan has maintained a kuruma prawn stocking program in order to keep its capture fishery ongoing, applying aquaculture hatchery technology for the release of juveniles.
  • Aquaculture production of kuruma prawn in Japan began in the late 19th century with hatching and rearing in ponds, a technique which has since been transferred to China, Southeast Asia, India, and Latin America for shrimps. Natural seawater ponds enclosed with embankments or nets are still the primary method of production for kuruma prawn, though some land-based tanks exist.
  • Kuruma prawn production in France can be considered to be a medium risk.
  • Farm siting is well regulated, and farming is less intensive than in other parts of the world with little feed input.
  •  Kuruma prawn is considered an invasive species in the Mediterranean outcompeting native penaeid species. On France’s Atlantic coast (where production takes place) there is no evidence to suggest that it has established as a wild population.
  • A small amount of kuruma prawn farming takes place in France, where oyster farmers have been able to utilize their marshy flats for both species. The kuruma prawn is farmed semi-extensively in brackish water lagoons and several hatcheries exist along that stretch of coast providing larvae that are reared from May to October.