White leg shrimp (or biologically known as Litopenaeus vannamei) is a type of prawn of the eastern Pacific ocean. It is caught to serve as popular seafood in most of the Asian countries. This prawn has also got a lot of popularity and demand in U.S. and U.K. markets.
Description and Habitat
It can grow up to a maximum length of 9.1 inches (230 millimeters), with its carapace growing up to 3.5 inches (90 millimeters). Adult shrimp live in Deep Ocean, at depths up to 72 meters (236 feet), and young shrimp live in estuaries. The rostrum has a moderate length with 7-10 teeth on the dorsal side and 2-4 teeth on the ventral side.
White leg shrimp mostly live in the eastern Pacific Ocean, from the Mexican state of Sonora to northern Peru. They are restricted to the areas where the temperature exceeds 20 0C (68 0F) all through the year.
Fishery and Production
The white leg shrimp was an important species for Mexican fishermen, as well as for trawlers during the 20th century. Towards the late 20th century the use of aquaculture overtook wild fishery. This was first initiated in Florida in 1973 using prawns captured in Panama. The production of L. vannamei was maximum in Latin America in the warm El Nino years (a band of anomalously ocean water temperatures), and it was minimum during the cooler La Nina years (a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon just opposite to El Nino), because of many diseases. Diseases like ‘white spot syndrome’, ‘Taura syndrome’, ‘Infectious hypodermal and Hematopoietic necrosis’ are responsible for limited production of the white leg shrimp.
Like every other seafood, vannamei shrimp is also very rich in omega-3, minerals, protein and other vital nutrients. All the nutrients present in the meat of this shrimp are really important for fast body growth and healthy mind. This white leg shrimp is pretty much ideal for parties and excellent for cooking on the grill. Nutritionists and physicians recommend taking the white leg shrimp since they are rich in iron and protein, and this is why this can be taken as a complete diet.
Almost all shrimp recipes can be prepared easily. It can be mixed well with marinades to give a great flavor. Other than that, it can also complement with other cuisines. You can purchase canned shrimp from the market too.
No matter whether you prefer hot spicy food or sweet dishes, this shrimp will provide you the ultimate taste and mouth-watering aroma. Although in majority of Asian countries, this shrimp is often prepared hot and spicy as per the demand of the people, you can also find it with salad, soup and fruits. It gives you the best taste when taken hot, baked and grilled. These shrimp provide the parties with extra bit of flavor and they are regarded as hot favorite of people.