Tuesday, May 30, 2017

30/05/2017: Ecuadorian shrimp farming: A success story

Located between Colombia and Peru on the Pacific cost of the South American continent, Ecuador is a small Latin American country, with only 277,000 square kilometers of land and 2,200 km of coastline. Nevertheless, Ecuador is one of the world’s major players in farmed shrimp production, especially if we look at the shrimp production ratios relative to the land surface or to the length of coastline of the considered countries.

Shrimp farming in Ecuador started in 1969 with the extensive method, which consisted of capturing the seeds from the estuaries and then transporting them into the earth ponds where they were maintained during four to eight months in order to reach a marketable size.  The size of the ponds was from 10 to over 50 hectares. Today, almost 185,000 thousand hectares of ponds are dedicated to shrimp production mostly located in the Guayaquil area. The individual size of a shrimp farm ranges from less than 10 hectares to more than 2,000, but a large majority (almost 35 percent), in terms of surface are between 100 to 250Ha. This repartition is different when talking about the number of farms.

The density of shrimp farms in the Guayas is really impressive with a lot of ecological connections between all farms. So it is almost impossible that one shrimp can be isolated from others (Fig. 6). It is also important to insist on the fact that the water quality is variable in a lot of farms according to their position in the delta. During the winter and rainy season, the temperature is elevated but the salinity is very low to almost 0ppt in many farms; during the summer and dry season, the temperature is lower and the salinity higher (from 10ppt to 36ppt according the farm situation).  Despite these not being the optimal theoretical condition for sustainable shrimp farming, Ecuador has pioneered and led shrimp farming production in Latin America.

by Hervé Lucien-Brun, Aquaculture & Qualite, France 

Read more HERE.

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