The GIA starts a project to search for genetic improvement of white shrimp

  • by admin - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 23:59

20/7/2017.- The University of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria (ULPGC) has agreed for 1.010.000 euros the transfer of innovative technology of genetic improvement for shrimp farming to the Ecuadorian company Biogemar SA The project, called MacMICOd.1, is led by the Aquaculture Research Group (GIA) of the IU-ECOAQUA and the ultimate goal is to improve the production of white prawns in terms of quality, growth and robustness.

The owner of Biogemar S.A, Walter Intriago, traveled last week to Gran Canaria to sign the Knowledge Transfer Agreement with the ULPGC and to know firsthand the university facilities. Walter Intriago met with the Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Transfer, José Pablo Suárez, and the researcher and director of the MacMICOd.1 project, Juan Manuel Afonso.

The technology developed by the ULPGC has the added value of interdisciplinary collaboration in the fields of engineering and aquaculture. Thus, the researcher Javier Lorenzo of the University Institute of Intelligent Systems and Numerical Applications in Engineering (IUSIANI), developed a software to speed up the calculation of the talent of thousands of animals to produce quality meat.

Likewise, Juan Antonio Montiel, a researcher at the Institute of Applied Microelectronics (IUMA), designed a database that can be managed in any continent. On the other hand, to the two previous applications we must add a software developed with the help of a geneticist to define how the animals will mate; and in the ECOAQUA laboratory they designed a specific paternity diagnostic reaction for shrimp, so that it can be done in record time.

Among the business benefits that the project will bring is to avoid inbreeding, so that in the future the animals do not create any problem of growth or deformities. In addition, with this technology they have marked the goal of winning, from generation to generation, a ten percent growth and survival, quite high rates in that sector.


Biogenar SA devotes its business activity to reproduce and breed shrimp or white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), postlarvae of day 12 (PL12), for the sector of fattening in pools or estuaries until slaughter for export. Likewise, BIOGEMAR SA is the most important company in the production of PL12 in Ecuador, with an average monthly production of about 300 million Postlarvas of day 12 (PL12) (about 3,600 million annually), with the singularity that BIOGEMAR SA only uses natural procedures for the production of its postlarvae, since it does not use antibiotics, and the production of eggs and the mating of the reproducers are totally natural, being thus respectful with the environment and with the consumer. In this sense, BIOGEMAR S.A. has the certifications of NATURLAND, GLOBAL G.A.P. and the INP (National Fisheries and Aquaculture Institute of Ecuador).


The director of the Aquaculture Research Group (GIA) of the IU-ECOAQUA, Juan Manuel Afonso, traveled in 2013 to the National Congress of Ecuador, in the context of the Ibero-American Network of Genetics and Immunology GICPA, promoted by the ULPGC, to inform the aquaculture companies of the sector of the research on genetic improvement carried out at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. There he met the owner of Biogemar S.A., Walter Intriago Díaz. From that moment, the GIA began working in the area of Marine Genetics to articulate a proposal for the implementation of genetic improvement in the production processes of the company. In Ecuador there are some 201,000 hectares of shrimp farming, an industry that employs a million people.