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Belize’s Shrimp Industry Shows Promise

A meeting between the Shrimp Growers Association and the Government of Belize was held recently.    The meeting which was held with officials from the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce was aimed at looking at ways to revive the industry through team work.  In recent years, the shrimp industry has taken a hit in Belize as well as around the world both environmentally and economically.  With the advent of new technology things just may get better and Belize could return as a viable contender in the shrimp production sector.  Back in 2014, the shrimp industry had netted over ninety million Belize dollars in export earnings which accounted for almost fifteen percent of Belize’s total export earnings.  It was projected to continue on a path of growth but the arrival of the Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) began creating many challenges.  The negative effects of the EMS disease began in March 2015 with a drastic drop in production by more than fifty percent of what was seen in the previous year, putting its export earnings to about ten million Belize dollars.  Although immediate action was being taken against the EMS, it took over two years for the industry to begin seeing some progress as was reflected in the figures by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) with export earning for January and February 2017 registered at just over eight million Belize dollars; two million dollars more than in 2016.  Love News understands that there is a projected growth of the shrimp industry that will see about forty million Belize dollars in export earnings for 2017.  Following the meeting between the shrimp producers and the Government, there was working tour of the Aqua Mar Belize Limited and the Royal Mayan Shrimp farm during which a demonstration of the emerging technology geared at restoring the industry was conducted.