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Shrimp industry is bouncing back, says Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai

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Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2022. 10:53 am CST.

Photo Credit: Minister Jose Abelardo Mai

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The shrimp industry is making a rebound, said Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai after meeting a group of Guatemalan investors who plan to produce high-quality disease-free shrimp Post Larvae (PLs) in Belize.

“From being a $90M industry in 2014, shrimp fell to almost nothing or negligible. Today that has changed. Royal Mayan and Aqua Mar, using a super highly intensive system has revolutionized the shrimp industry in 2022,” said Minister Mai in a social media post.

“This has triggered Guatemalan and Central American companies to partner with Belizean-owned companies for the production of genetically clean and improved, disease-free post larvae to supply growers in the country.”

The partnership is between Belize Aquaculture Limited (BAL) which was owned by the late Barry Bowen, VITALI – a company based in Guatemala and Central America that produces the ARECA brand of shrimp feed, and CP Thailand – a company based in Thailand that has mastered the art of producing disease-free improved shrimp germplasm for intensive shrimp production.

Minister Mai said that improving from an 80% mortality rate caused by Early Mortality Syndrome to 90% survival is something to be proud of. Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), a bacterial disease detected in Belize in 2015, spreads rapidly from farm to farm and is responsible for decimating the local shrimp industry.

“Thanks to ARECA for technical support and for partnering with Belize. Once again, we are building on Plan Belize,” said the Agriculture Minister.

The Director of the shrimp programme in the Ministry, Digno Polanco, confirmed to Breaking Belize News (BBN) that shrimp production is expected to rise from 1.17 million lbs in 2021 to an estimated 2.50 million lbs in 2022.

 

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