Ecuadorean shrimp larvae producers warn about the proliferation of illegal hatcheries

The Association of Shrimp Larvae Producers estimates that approximately half of the hatcheries operating in the country are illegal.

Government representatives and hatchery farmers during the meeting
January 4, 2023

The Ecuadorean Association of Shrimp Larvae Producers (ASOLAP) recently had a meeting with government representatives to expose the situation in the country and request mitigation measures.

“In other countries, the average price per thousand shrimp larvae is $4-6, and in Ecuador, we are being paid an average of $2, despite the costs of production in the country are not lower. The larval sector is supplied with inputs at international prices and operates with the most expensive labor costs in the region. However, the sale price, which is 55% lower than the international price, has been maintained for the past five years despite the growth of the industry in the country,” ASOLAP said in a letter.

“There has also been a significant increase in production costs, especially in inputs and energy, where fuel represents between 9-11% of the total costs of a shrimp hatchery,” the letter said.

“This situation is generated thanks to the proliferation of informal hatcheries that operate without having obtained the proper ministerial authorization. These irregular hatcheries do not comply with labor laws, they normally acquire inputs, including fuel, on the black market, strongly harming legal producers. According to our estimates, there are around 450 hatcheries in the country, of which approximately half are illegal,” ASOLAP said.

After the meeting with the Ecuadorian government, the parties agreed to carry out roadside checks to certify that the larvae circulating in the country are legally produced and work together with the Internal Revenue Service to prohibit the issuance of sales receipts or withholdings to those who do not have an authorization.