Can you eat brine shrimp?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat brine shrimp?” with an in-depth analysis of the taste of brine shrimps, the health benefits of eating brine shrimp as well as the uses, lifespan, habitat, and disadvantages of brine shrimps. 

Can you eat brine shrimp?

Yes, you can eat brine shrimp. Brine shrimp is edible and can be easily digested, therefore it is used as a part of live fish food. It is a good option to add to your diet as it contains a high amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and also has a delicious juicy taste.

Uses of brine shrimp

Brine shrimp are used for various purposes. Following are some uses of brine shrimp:

  • Used as food by fish: Brine shrimp can be used as food by fish. From dried eggs of brine shrimp, young brine shrimps are hatched. These young brine shrimps can be used as food by fish and some other small animals present in aquariums.
  • Experimental purposes: As brine shrimps are tiny and their food requirement is also not significant. So they are used as test organisms for early space experiments.
  • Food source of animals: Some animals like Eared Grebes and Red-necked phalaropes depend entirely on brine shrimps for food during staging or when they are migrating from one place to another.

The lifespan of brine shrimp

Brine shrimps have a long life span. Brine shrimps can live for several months. Eight days are required by brine shrimps in order to grow as an adult from nauplius. Almost 300 nauplius or cysts are produced every four days.

What is the food of brine shrimps?

Although brine shrimps are tiny creatures no matter what their size is, they require food to sustain themselves. Algae and bacteria are the natural food of brine shrimps. Following guidelines must be followed before feeding brine shrimps

  • Overfeeding brine shrimps lead to their death and fouling of water.
  • Whatever food is, its particle size must be between 5 and 50 microns.
  • Feeding must be done once or twice a week.
  • Coloured food is much in demand for brine shrimps as it can lead to their gut cleaning. For this purpose, dried yeast with coloured food is the best option.

Habitat of brine shrimps

From the name of brine shrimps, one can think that the habitat of brine shrimps is marine water. But brine shrimps live exclusively in saltwater bodies. 

Brine shrimps live in highly saline water such as the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the Mono Lake in California. However, sometimes they can also be found in temporary salt ponds.

Best way to cook shrimp

The best method in order to prepare brine shrimp is to sear shrimp on high heat. However, we can also cook shrimp on lower heat but for a long time. 

Nutritional value of brine shrimps

Newly hatched brine shrimp is very rich in the number of lipids and unsaturated fatty acids. Following is the list depicting the nutritional content of brine shrimps

  • Protein= 37% to 1%
  • Lipid= 12% to 30%
  • Carbohydrates= 11% to 23%
  • Ash= 4% to 21%

Benefits of brine shrimps

  • High nutritional value: A lot of macronutrients are present in brine shrimps. Although the macronutrient content of different brine shrimps varies, every brine shrimp has a significant amount of macronutrients. Brine shrimps are also rich in polyunsaturated fats which are very good for feeding saltwater fish.
  • High digestibility: Brine shrimps have better digestibility as compared to other commercial foods. The reason for this is that brine shrimps are unprocessed.
  • Excellent conservation: Brine shrimps are reproduced by cysts, therefore they have excellent conservation abilities. 
  • Small size: The size of brine shrimps is small. The size of adults is between 8 to 13 mm. Due to their small size, they are easy to handle.
  • Affordable: Prices of brine shrimps are not much high.
  • Ease of cultivation: The hatching time of brine shrimps is not more than 24 to 36 hours. Several methods and tips are available for the cultivation of brine shrimps.

Can we eat undercooked shrimp?

A marine bacterium known as Vibrio is present in sea creatures. Vibrio causes a disease known as vibriosis. This germ can infect us if we eat undercooked or raw brine shrimp.

Harmful effects of eating brine shrimps

  • Brine shrimps can be poisonous sometimes.
  • Overfeeding of brine shrimps can sometimes lead to the death of an individual.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat brine shrimp?” with an in-depth analysis of the taste of brine shrimps, the health benefits of eating brine shrimp as well as the uses, lifespan, habitat, and disadvantages of brine shrimps. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.