A few days ago the second edition of the RCOIN Innovation Convergence Wheels took place in Guayaquil, an institutional initiative of the Polytechnic School of the Litoral, Espol, whose objective was to know the interests of the shrimp business sector in order to align academic research towards the production of real innovation.
Stanislaus Sonnenholzner, director of the National Center for Aquaculture and Marine Research (Cenaim) details among the interests to seek strategic alliances in the productive sector to enhance the research that Cenaim is currently doing. Among the invited entrepreneurs were representatives of input and feed companies, larvae and shrimp laboratories, in total about 50 representatives of these sectors.
Another purpose of the meeting was to promote the shrimp producers and validate together with them the Cenaim projects. “We want to get feedback to know if it is necessary to redirect some lines or products that are of special interest for the productive sector”, explains Sonnenholzner.
In this way, Cenaim is one of the institutions that contributes in terms of research topics in the shrimp sector. Among the main lines of research has probiotics, beneficial bacteria that have modes of action against pathogens.
“The idea with probiotics is that the disease does not manifest itself at the level of crops in general”, which in terms of production derives in 20% or 30% of survival, which at the end of the day translates into more animals and higher income, details Sonnenholzner.
Processes of genetic improvement
Edwin Yugcha, master in biotechnology and biogenetic manager of Biogemar, a company dedicated to two lines of research, genetic improvement and development of microalgae, in addition to the production of nauplii and larvae, reports that the biggest problem in the shrimp production sector is the diseases that originate when infected larvae enter the shrimp farms, for example with white spots.
“We do this type of reproductive analysis per breeder, which guarantees that none of them passes pathogenic elements.”
In the field of genetics what they are looking for is to have copies of good and rapid growth, and that is that these are the demands of this business sector. “The averages of the pools when they already harvest is around 1.20 to 1.4 grams per week of growth, if the shrimp could get between 1.4 to 1.6 it would be excellent, those larval lines are what the shrimp, “explains Yugcha.
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Aquatropical (AT) is another of the companies that operates two trends of genetic management, the Masal and Family Selection, whose objective is to maintain a large gene bank to make more specific family and intrafamily selections.
“The final goal of all genetic work is to constantly select and evaluate the different lines to specific environmental factors required for a commercial crop in order to obtain the greatest economic benefit,” explains Alex Elghoul, general manager.
He adds that these lines are evaluated in the field and their yields compared with commercial ones in terms of survival growth and feed conversion factor.
AT has a molecular biology laboratory; to maintain an optimum level of research and survey of the necessary broodstock to meet the demand, it has forty professionals dedicated exclusively to genetic improvement, in addition to an annual investment of $ 500,000 to guarantee continuous profits throughout the productive sector of the country. 20% of its larval production is exported.
At this moment they have three probiotics with sanitary registry, they are looking for a strategic ally that massifies, commercializes and industrializes it. Show the benefits, levels of survival that have achieved both at the laboratory and commercial level.
The Cenaim since its creation had the intention to diversify the industry, so they work on technology development and cultivation with bivalve molluscs such as the Japanese oyster, polyculture oyster shrimp, spondylus.
In the laboratories the larvae of the shrimp are born and raised. There the nauplii are produced until reaching the postlarva stage, and then they are transferred to the pools. Every time there are more technological and scientific implementations that are added, among them feeding, scientific monitoring and genetic improvement, which will result in a more resistant and robust animal.
There are approximately 320 larvae laboratories in the country, 20 of them mature and the rest larviculture. (I)