The shrimp industry continues to be negatively affected by the Early Mortality Syndrome. It is a disease that affects shrimps and in Belize, the entire industry. It was first detected in 2009 in China before spreading throughout the world. It has been affecting the aquaculture industry in Belize for the past three years and stakeholders are having a rough time effectively eliminating the disease. So how is the Government dealing with this debilitating effect? Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse, explained.
Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture:“Yes aqua culture is going through some difficult times but if you take a visit down there, and I invite you to you will see that they are doing various serious moves with respect to the technology. Alvin has his own technology which is smaller ponds, bottom drain, you have things like some other farms are using rice brand in a certain process, some other farms like Mike Dunker has some tubes at the bottom where it is recirculating, all sorts of things are being done to try to get on top of this. The bottom line is everybody sees some progress so far, its not as magnificent as they would want. We have held joint meetings and I called a joint meeting with the Central Bank, Social Security, the DFC, Atlantic Bank, Heritage Bank, all the players in the industry, BAHA everybody a whole day conference to discuss this matter and where we are going. So I am fairly optimistic that we will come back. Gradually but certainly we will recover I don’t think shrimp at all is dead.”
According to Hulse the strengthening of phytosanitary standards should help to reverse the effects.