The Road Towards a Sustainable Shrimp Industry in Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities from a Feed Producer’s Perspective

Dr John Tinsley, Technical Director, BioMar Emerging Markets Division – Americas, Ecuador

Globally the shrimp industry is moving from a period of instability to strength, however competition on the worldwide market, production costs, and the risk of disease mean that in order to maintain stability and change in approach is needed. Today global production of Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) stands around 4.5 million tons. Stakeholders are confident in the industry’s growth and this is no more evident than recent investments seen throughout the world and the creation of certification schemes designed to ensure to longevity of the industry.

Currently the production landscape in Latin America is diverse and despite the geographical proximity, experiences vary. Central America production is stabilizing after a number of years of turbulence. However the industry in Ecuador is challenging global trends and increasing production year on year. The country exported approximately 450,000t of shrimp worth over US$3 billion a 16% increase compared to 2016. In light of this, the world’s largest feed producers have established themselves in the region, specifically Ecuador, noting its resources and infrastructure as a place to invest. Over the next few years there will be an increase in research and development into feeds designed to safeguard the development of the industry. Currently we are seeing research into functional feeds to promote health and welfare, feeds designed for nursery phases and feeds that utilise novel raw materials.

The presentation will provide an overview of the current status of shrimp farming in Latin America focusing on trends in production, feeds and certification. In addition the presentation will outline how the feed industry is playing an ever stronger role in supporting the industry and securing its longevity.