Claudio Cerda, hatchery general manager; Carlos Miranda Illingworth, general manager Skretting Ecuador; Ivan Ontaneda Berru, trade minister; and Datzania Villao Burgos, Santa Elena governor. Photo: Hendrix Genetics

Shrimp genetics centre breaks new ground for Ecuador

Hendrix Genetics has begun construction of a shrimp genetics centre in Ecuador that aims to produce shrimp with increased resistance to local diseases.

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In partnership with aquaculture feed manufacturer Skretting and shrimp producer Ecuacultivos, Hendrix will start a breeding programme with specially selected, disease-free shrimp from the Ecuacultivos farms.

The three partners took over the existing Macrobio hatchery to start post larvae production of Pacific whiteleg shrimp in February 2019, with a focus on advanced breeding technologies.

Natural next step

Construction of the new genetics centre, in Ayangue, Santa Elena province, is seen as the ‘natural next step’ in the development of a strong and sustainable Ecuadorian shrimp sector, said Hendrix.

It will take place in two phases and will include a genetic building, holding the nauplii until 12 days post-larvae (with physiological development completed), as well as a series of different ponds to maintain the shrimp until broodstock size.

The centre brings the total investment of the three partners to close to US $25 million.

Skretting Ecuador general manager Carlos Miranda Illingworth said: ‘We are working together to make the shrimp sector in Ecuador more competitive, but above all, more sustainable for the future.

Quality nutrition

‘High quality nutrition, farm management and shrimp genetics are basic conditions to accomplish that.’

Skretting announced earlier this month that it is investing US $6.1 million in a shrimp research facility in Ecuador to complement the Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) network.

‘We are serious about our commitment to drive the Ecuadorian shrimp industry further and help our clients deliver to the most demanding global shrimp markets,’ said Illingworth.