Shrimp is a term covering numerous species of decapods eaten as food. These succulent crustaceans are the number one seafood enjoyed by Americans. Farmed shrimp production now exceeds wild catch and is a 50 billion dollar industry. Aquaculture concentrates on two warm water fast-growing species know as White (Litopenaeus vannamei) and Tiger (Penaeus monodon). Shrimp farming is prevalent in low lying tropical regions where water temperature above 70 degrees and a flooded marine estuarine habitat can be maintained. Wild catch is generally focused around river mouths and areas with coastal estuaries. Shrimp are graded by size into counts per pound with larger sizes commanding a premium.Prawn is a word often used to refer to larger shrimp prepared with the head-on.
Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and Tiger (Penaeus monodon) are the two species predominant in aquaculture applications. (White primarily found in south and Central America, and Tiger found primarily in Asia.) White, Brown, Pink, and Rock shrimp are some of the most common wild-produced species. Cold water shrimp are generally small in size and mostly sold as cooked and peeled (sometimes they are referred to as salad shrimp).