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New partnership to produce shrimp hatchery in Ecuador

Animal breeding company Hendrix Genetics has partnered with aqua feed company Nutreco and Ecuadorian shrimp farming company Ecuacultivos, to invest in Ecuador and establish a state-of-the-art shrimp hatchery.

March 5, 2019  By Hatchery International Staff

From L-R: Carlos Miranda Illingworth

The hatchery will deliver high quality, high health Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) post larvae to Ecuadorian farmers. Hendrix Genetics said the new joint venture will take over the existing Macrobio hatchery and will focus on providing local shrimp production with advanced genetics and breeding technologies, nutritional solutions from aquaculture feed supply company Skretting, and best farming practices.

“After our entry into shrimp breeding in 2017, we have put most effort into developing the Kona Bay shrimp breeding program,” Antoon van den Berg, CEO of Hendrix Genetics stated in a release. “This is an important development to gain access to one of the main markets.”

Hendrix Genetics, Nutreco (with aquaculture division Skretting), and Ecuacultivos will invest capital in upgrading the Macrobio hatchery to a state-of-the-art production facility and developing a world-class shrimp breeding program locally, the release stated. Adding that the joint venture aims to increase the competitiveness of the Ecuadorian shrimp industry in a sustainable manner.

“Our strategy for the coming years is to invest in innovative projects that support sustainable market growth,” said Nutreco CEO Rob Koremans. “We’re delighted that this partnership will promote the sustainable growth of shrimp farming in Ecuador, a key market for our aquaculture division Skretting.”


The hatchery is located in the western region of the country and currently employs around 50 people.

“We believe that bringing together global leaders in genetics and nutritional technology with first class local production operations is the combination best placed to deliver value and efficiency to the Ecuadorian industry,” said Neil Manchester, managing director aquaculture of Hendrix Genetics.

Within the aquaculture market in Ecuador, the Pacific whiteleg shrimp is the most important aquatic species produced. The production volumes skyrocketed in recent years, putting Ecuador currently at the third largest producer after China and Indonesia. The market for Ecuadorian shrimp has also changed drastically. In the past, the European Union and the United States were, by far, the largest markets. However, China is now importing about 50 percent of Ecuador’s total shrimp output.

“The combination of our nutritional knowledge combined with genetic know-how and best farm practices make this joint venture a very exciting one for the shrimp business in Ecuador,” stated Skretting Ecuador general manager Carlos Miranda Illingworth. “Through this partnership, we plan to produce a disease-resistant animal to keep the Ecuadorian shrimp industry antibiotic free and with improved growth so farmers can optimize land use and produce more with less.”

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