Pacific white shrimp. (Photo: Thiago)
More shrimp in less time, thanks to genetic improvement
Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 02:00 (GMT + 9)
A project of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) is committed to Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) genetic improvement to achieve a larger and faster growth rate of this crustacean in the municipality of Parnaíba, in the state of Piauí.
Proponents of the initiative expect to produce more shrimp with good weight in less time, thereby reducing the pressure on the environment.
The main goal of the project, coordinated by the researcher Luiz Carlos Guilherme, is to contribute to the specimen increase in weight by 5 per cent per genetically improved shrimp, per generation; and to increase the number of annual fattening cycles.
Currently, the Pacific white shrimp produced in captivity in Brazil is traded, on average, about 75 days after the start of the fattening cycle.
The team of researchers state they are excited about the first results. They stress that they noted a genetic inheritance of weight and length of 30 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, in the studied specimens.
This result, according to the group, indicates that the additive genetic variance, which is transmitted from father to son, can be explored in genetic improvement programmes.
"Now we can think of other studies with this species, looking for increased shrimp production and supply in the region," Guilherme pointed out according to Agrosoft.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA), which provided BRL 150,000 (USD 74,000), and is expected to close this year.
The initiative was developed in partnership with the private sector, since the companies involved are Aquacrusta and Copescal, Acaraú and Aracati municipalities in Ceará, and Sealife of Parnaíba.
In 2010, Brazilian shrimp production reached 80,000 tonnes, as reported by the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Breeders (ABCC).