Ecuador hatchery begins production of first breed of disease-resistant shrimp
By Mari-Len De Guzman
Hendrix Genetics has begun operations of its state-of-the-art shrimp hatchery in Ecuador.
The Macrobio Hatchery, located in the western region of Ecuador, is the result of a collaboration between Hendrix Genetics, Nutreco, and Ecuacultivos, a mid-sized Ecuadorian shrimp farm. The three companies announced a partnership in 2019 to upgrade the hatchery.
“This new strategic breeding operation will offer solutions for challenges currently facing the region. With the initial cycle of shrimp produced and entering this closed cycle breeding program, the first generation of improved shrimp genetics will be ready by the end of the year. This will serve as an opportunity for local production to access the most advanced and high health animal genetics,” according to a statement from Hendrix Genetics.
Hendrix’s Kona Bay-branded specific pathogen resistant (SPR) shrimp genetic will be introduced to the hatchery. The Macrobio hatchery will be the first of its kind in Ecuador, with a closed cycle breeding operation.
Ecuador’s aquaculture industry has been challenged by disease, forcing its farmers to produce shrimp in low densities to help address these disease challenges – a strategy that may have worked but is far from sustainable, according the Hendrix Genetics. “Even with low levels of pathogens, disease recycles to future broodstock.”
The company’s SPR shrimp hopes to address the pathogen challenge in the Ecuadorian shrimp industry and, through the Macrobia hatchery, help produce shrimp that are antibiotic-free, and with high performance, fast growth and good harvest characteristics.
“What makes this initiative unique is that our partners also see sustainability as a priority,” the company said. ”Our partners are highly progressive compared to others in the region. With strong farm management systems, biosecurity, high quality feed and innovative technology we have created a powerhouse partnership for success. By producing more efficient and healthy offspring that thrive in challenging environments we can increase profits for all involved and expand regions that have struggled with production in the past.”
The first generation of improved shrimp genetics from the Ecuadorian hatchery will be available by the end of the year, the company announced.