Photo by: John van Herwijnen
All farming of Peruvian shrimp occurs in the northern part of Peru, close to Ecuador. There are about 2 large-scale farmers with more than 150 hectares, 20 medium-scale farmers with more than 100 hectares and about 50 small-scale farmers with more than 20 hectares. The biggest volumes for export purposes are produced by the 22 big- and medium-scale farmers among which are Camposol/Marinazul and Atisa Peru. There are two main areas:
In Tumbes total surface for shrimp farming is about 6000 hectare. Here farmers can seed and farm all year-round due to the favorable climate. All farmers are located close to the coastal area and use sea water. They take advantage of the tides to have the water in the ponds renewed continuously. In Piura, 400 kilometers to the south, the climate is colder which limits production to only one cycle: from the end of January to the beginning of May. Farmers use sweet water from the Piura river for the ponds. In 2016, due to lack of rain, it was necessary to harvest all the shrimp in February.
Due to environmental restrictions, such as the protected biosphere and lack of water for agriculture, as well as climate conditions, like the lower temperature at night, expansion of shrimp farming in these regions is quite limited. In both regions semi-intensive systems are used, although some companies are doing tests with intensive farming, as this would allow them to increase annual production from 1,300-1,500 kg per ha to 20,000 – 30,000 kg per ha. Tests are still in the early phase, but within some years Peru will probably succeed with the intensive system.
Until now, only Atisa has the GlobalG.A.P. certification with the preparations for ASC started. Other farmers are just starting the process of implementation of GlobalG.A.P. The company Eco-Acuicola S.A.C. (Ecosac) has the only certified B.A.P. farm. As all ASC certifying companies are located in Ecuador, it is quite expensive to get this certification in Peru.