With just over 16 million people, Ecuador is South America’s 7th most populated country which is a little more than Bolivia and a little less than Chile. Ecuador borders the Pacific Ocean at the equator after which the country is named. The country has a coastline of 2,237 km that borders with Colombia in the north and Peru in the east and south. The climate is very diverse ranging from the desert-like southern coast, to the cooler Andes mountains, to the tropical plains of the Amazon basin. Rivers follow the southern border and spill into northwest Peru. After oil, fisheries and aquaculture is Ecuador’s second largest export sector. Ecuador is the largest tuna producer of South and North America, producing about 4% of the world its total tuna catches. In terms of tuna exports, Ecuador is the world its second largest exporter of prepared and preserved tuna after Thailand. In aquaculture, Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei
) is the most important species produced. The country’s production exploded in recent years, making Ecuador currently the world third largest L. vannamei producer after China and Indonesia. The market for Ecuador’s shrimp also changed drastically. While earlier the European Union and the United States were by far the largest markets, currently China is importing about 50% of Ecuador’s total shrimp output.
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