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January 22, 2015


Low-Density Shrimp Farming


Whitespot devastated Ecuador’s shrimp farming industry more than a decade ago, and the recovery was slow.  But today, the country’s shrimp farmers have found a new formula for success—low-density production—and it seems to be working.  Production jumped 30 percent in 2014, but more modest growth is in the cards for 2015, according to Jose Camposano, president of Ecuador’s National Aquaculture Chamber.


Ecuador could increase production by 10-15 percent in 2015 “tops,” said Camposano, but it will depend on market demand, adding that Ecuador’s strategy is not expansion, but rather sustainable growth and maintaining quality for consumers.


According to Javier Barragan, CEO of Biocentinela, a small-scale organic shrimp farm, there is no danger of the Ecuadorian shrimp sector growing too fast.  “We have come a long way since whitespot hit us, so I think we are prepared for such eventualities,” he said.


Sandro Coglitore, CEO of Omarsa, one of the biggest shrimp farms in Ecuador, says there are not large amounts of land left in Ecuador for the expansion of shrimp farming, which limits long-term production.  We cannot grow by expanding, he says.  “All growth we have reached has been the result of a very sustainable production model—using probiotics instead of antibiotics—and taking care of environment.”  Now the environment is taking care of the shrimp, he added, with higher survival rates and better growth rates due to domestication of broodstock.  “In fact, now we produce double the output of before with half the input of larvae and feed.”


Source: Fish Farming International.  Ecuador Thrives With Low-Density, Sustainable Shrimp Farming Model.  January 5, 2015.

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