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October 21, 2015


Undercurrent News Reporting from Ecuador about AquaExpo 2015


Undercurrent News is in Guayaquil, Ecuador, reporting from AquaExpo (October 21 through 22, 2015), a conference that features a trade show and technical presentations on shrimp farming.  Here are some highlights from Undercurrent’s reports:


Feed Management: At the conference, Manoj Sharma, managing director of Mayank Aquaculture in India, said feed management is the paramount factor needed to succeed in shrimp farming.  “Wrong feeding is the mother of all problems in shrimp ponds.”  Automatic feeders are the future of shrimp farming, Sharma said.  He encouraged Ecuadorian shrimp farmers to improve their feeding management because a majority of them feed only once per day.  The use of good quality probiotics to improve the pond environment is key in farming management, Sharma said.


Songa Building New Processing Plant: Songa, one of the largest shrimp farming companies in Ecuador, is building a new processing plant to double production by 2017.  The company’s new plant is based in Isla Josefina, where Songa has another plant that will also be renovated to meet production goals.  Xavier Varas, who works for Songa, said,  “We are currently producing 300,000 pounds of shrimp per day and by 2017 we want to produce 600,000 pounds a day.”


Expalsa, A Shift in Production Strategies: Marco Veloz, commercial executive for the local market at Expalsa, one of Ecuador’s largest shrimp exporters, said the falling shrimp prices that began at the end of 2014 have forced some processors to shift from producing tails to producing whole shrimp.  The increase in whole shrimp production will boost Ecuador’s export volumes for 2015.  Veloz said, “This will be reflected in the country’s export figures, as whole shrimp involve 35% additional volume.”


In 2015, in Ecuador, the number of shrimp-farm hectares increased by 10%, compared to 25% in previous years, Veloz said.


Cargill Continues Expansion: Martin Baertl, business development manager of Cargill’s Aquaculture Department, says Cargill aims to increase Ecuador’s aquafeed market share to 25% in the near future.  “To grow in Ecuador, we needed to be local producers,” he said.  “Before we were producing aquafeed in Peru, but this involved higher logistic costs.”


Through a joint venture, owned 25% by Naturisa, Cargill will compete in Ecuador with leading feed suppliers Nutreco and Alicorp, a Peruvian company that sells under the brand Nicovita.  Despite competition, the scope for growth is good, Baertl said, because Ecuador needs about 550,000 metric tons of aquafeed a year.


Soymeal in Shrimp Feeds: Dr. Allen Davis, a consultant at the US Soybean Export Council, and professor at Auburn University, talked about using soymeal as a replacement for fishmeal in shrimp diets.


Pronaca, A New Player in the Feed Industry: Agro-industrial group Pronaca has invested about $12 million to enter the local feed market for shrimp and tilapia.  The investment was made two years ago to build an aquafeed processing plant in Duran, Ecuador.  “We started producing about a year ago and within the next five years, we want to produce 6,000 metric tons,” said Giani Yepes, manager of the aquaculture division at Pronaca.


Trade with China: The National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA) in Ecuador will keep calling for trade negotiations with China to reduce tariffs on Ecuadorian shrimp exports, said Jose A. Camposano, CNA’s executive chairman.


Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman (  Aquaexpo Blog: Songa Building Processing Plant to Double Production by 2017.  Alicia Villegas (  October 20, 2015.

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