Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015. 11:28 am CST.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015. BMG: There is good news to report in the advancement of the Belizean Shrimp industry. The Aquaculture Certification Council has certified eight shrimp farms in Belize, which makes it the country with the highest percentage of certified farms in the world.
According to a video posted on YouTube by the Belize Shrimp Growers Association and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) among others, the ASC-certified farms are:
According to the video, Belize’s eight certified shrimp farms produced nearly 16 million pounds of shrimp in 2014, which is equivalent to 90% of the country’s shrimp production.
Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of the mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system.
“The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said.
“We’re using less water on our farm through improving the way we manage water quality. And, by focusing on compliance, we uncovered that the water in the receiving body is of even better quality since our mangrove buffer acts as a bio filter.”
“We want to continue with the process of improving our farms. Meeting the ASC standard has ensured an objective assessment of our farms and the marine environment through independent evaluation,” Henderson said.
Dominique Gautier, Technical Executive at Belize Shrimp Supplier Sea Farms, said the ASC certification will help in developing a “positive image” of Belize as a trusted provenance in the marketplace, and will open “new commercial opportunities” for Belizean shrimp.
The Belize Shrimp Growers Association was provided with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
The IDB funding was through Compete Caribbean, a program to support private sector development and competitiveness in 15 Caribbean countries. IDH has supported the farmers with funds and technical assistance, such as training and research.
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