Shrimp is one of the export commodities from the aquaculture subsector with a high economic value. In 2022, the shrimp export value was US$2.16 billion with a volume of 241,202 tonnes. However, the value decreased by 3.22% in 2021 to US$2.23 billion.
The United States was Indonesia’s biggest shrimp importer. In 2021, shrimp exports to the US reached US$1.59 billion with a volume of 180,000 tonnes. Per September 2022, shrimp exports to the US decreased to US$1.1 billion with a volume of 118,000 tonnes. This decline was caused by Ecuador beating Indonesia in terms of shrimp exports with their cheaper shrimp.
In 2010, shrimp production in Ecuador was only 145,000 tonnes, yet it rose significantly to 675,000 tonnes in 2020. Systematically, their shrimp production increased 400%. In June 2022, Ecuador supplied 19,164 MT of shrimp to the US, and this value increased further to 19,832 MT in the following July. This increased shrimp production is made possible by proper shrimp farm management which allows lower shrimp prices. The reasons are as follows:
Aside from those factors, Ecuador also gains the support of various parties for their shrimp industry. Their local universities exert a training program for cultivation and modify their curriculum to include aquaculture practices.
Ecuador’s government also highly supports its shrimp farmers to legalize their farms. Before that, many farms built on coastal areas have not been legalized. In 2008, a legalization program was introduced to small to mid-level farmers, obliging them to conserve the environment with sustainable practices. The government also aids the funding for several sectors such as energy and shrimp fry to decrease production costs.
Indonesia has better opportunities than Ecuador due to its geographical and farm area advantage. Based on data from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), Indonesia has 300,051 ha of available area for shrimp cultivation. However, Indonesia has not been able to use all this land for productive and sustainable cultivation. We also need to prioritize producing disease-resistant shrimp instead of fast-growing shrimp and focus on efficiency over stocking density. Better awareness of proper farm management is needed to maintain a balance between the environment and farmers’ livelihoods.
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