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Sometimes the birds signal that something is wrong with the pond.  Most likely the water in this pond needed more exygen.

Sometimes the birds signal that something is wrong with the pond. Most likely the water in this pond needed more oxygen.

Jama Ecuador

Living on a shrimp farm presents many photo opportunities.  My friends who own the ponds are not too fond of the egrets, herons, ibis, storks, pelicans, sea gulls, frigates and cormorants that feast on the shrimp.  Watching the birds is a feast for my eyes!  This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is Fresh, and the shrimp harvest produces lots of fresh shrimp!

The  birds love to feast after a shrimp harvest!

The birds love the after-harvest buffet!

The birds flock to the ponds for an all-they-can-eat buffet when the ponds are harvested.   Let’s go watch a harvest in progress!

Most ponds are harvested in a canal.  Wooden slats  (covering the outlet pipe) are removed  one by one as the water level drops.

Most ponds are harvested in a canal. Wooden slats (covering the outlet pipe) are gradually removed from top to bottom as the water level drops.

Scheduled for the highest and lowest tide of the month, the harvest begins by releasing the water from the pond.

Scheduled during the aguajis – (the highest and lowest tides of the month) – the work begins about twelve hours before the shrimp are harvested.

The pond is in the background, and the outlet pipe is below the water level.

The pond is in the background, and the outlet pipe is below the water level.

The pond is in the background, the discharge pipe is below water level, and the men manually operate the long net that catches the shrimp as they are flushed from the pond.

The men manually operate the long tubular net that catches the shrimp that are flushed from the pond.

They seem to be forever smiling!

They seem to be forever smiling; well, most of them smile!

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My friend Cesar Cevallos, one of the owners of the farm, oversees the harvest. The Cevallos family uses no chemicals in their farming operation. They should be receiving a premium for organic shrimp, don’t you think?

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The men place a cover on top to keep the shrimp from jumping out of the crate.

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The shrimp are dumped into a bath of ice water.

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Depending on the buyer’s preferences, molasses is sometimes added to the water to improve color of the shrimp.

Big smiles say, "I love my job!"

Big smiles say, “I love my job!” – (Picking out small fish!)

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After the shrimp are chilled, they are transferred to an area where they drain.

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Placed on long boards, the crates drain before they are weighed. Each crate weighs about 80 pounds.

Each crate is weighed then placed in the truck.

Each crate is weighed then placed in the truck.

Shrimp harvest - buyer and seller keep separate records.

Shrimp harvest – buyer and seller keep separate records.

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The truck brings lots of ice, which is used in the big tanks and later to keep the shrimp cold.

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Shrimp anyone?

The harvest appeared to be a success.

The harvest appeared to be a success.

Many times the workers get a bonus bag of shrimp.  Most sell them when they return to town.  The bargains are passed to the restaurateurs and then to the consumer!  Everyone’s happy when a piscina (pond) is harvested!

P1640496 jama shrimp exchange P1640499 jama shrimp exchange

Hostal/Restaurante - Punta Prieta - Shrimp Finale

Hostal/Restaurante Punta Prieta – Shrimp Finale

Restaurant Exclusivo - 'Camarones con Verduras" - Oh my, is this ever wonderful!

Restaurant Exclusivo – ‘Camarones con Verduras” – Oh my, is this ever wonderful!

Oh yes, I’m seriously hungry now!  Anyone want to meet me in town for lunch?!!!

Z

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