Region-wide Initiative to Benefit Belize’s Seafood Industry

Updated: May 30, 2016

Belize and other Caribbean economies are to benefit from a region-wide initiative which is to expand seafood market share, through the implementation of food safety measures. The market is worth an estimated one hundred and thirty billion U-S dollars annually. Other Caribbean countries, such as the Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, are now capitalizing on a coordinated approach to make the growing market more accessible. Belize and Jamaica are two Caribbean seafood exporters already tapping into markets controlled by the European Union (EU) which is considered a tough market to access because of strict standards which require that countries have systems in place to ensure that their exports are not only safe for consumption but also free from harmful pests and pathogens. In the case of Belize, which has traditionally exported shrimp to the EU, it is planning to export conch to that market for the first time, according to Endhir Sosa who is the Senior Food Safety Inspector in Belize. Sosa was among the eighteen professionals from CARIFORUM who recently received management training on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) in Iceland. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are collaborating to implement the fisheries component of the project.