The Caribbean Shrimp Company in Ladyville Village, Belize District, is looking to upgrade the services they are offering by including a unique boat tour through a mangrove lagoon. Reporter Courtney Menzies joined the tour today and brought back some highlights.
Most people would not consider Ladyville Village in the Belize district to be a tourist attraction. The Caribbean Shrimp Company is looking to change that however. Located on Mirage Road in the village the company has its own shrimp farm, restaurant, pool, a paintball facility, a crocodile sanctuary and now a boat tour through the lagoon and coastal areas of the farm. Today the company launched their one of a kind solar powered boat that will be able to take tourists and locals including students through a tour of the mangroves in the area. Heather Macintosh, the owner of Caribbean Shrimp company explained the importance of the mangroves to the farm and to the environment on a whole. On the tour, wildlife such as crocodiles and different rare types of birds can also be seen.
Heather Macintosh, Owner of Caribbean Shrimp: “What we’re trying to do here at Caribbean Shrimp is to expose Belizeans as well as our guests and our visitors to all the wonderful things that Belize has to offer. We are eco-friendly, we’re environmentally sustainable we are looking at things like organic natural and for us the mangrove is what makes our farm successful. The mangrove is what filters our water, the mangrove is what holds out ponds together so we don’t have erosion – it’s extremely important. So we thought why not take that a step further and give our guests, our students, our young people, everyone a chance to see it up close and we’re also now incorporating solar into the farm. We’re working on some big things that we’ll announce in a bit but this boat tour is kind of one of the beginning components of that because it lets us use the sun to power so there’s no emissions, there’s no chemicals there’s no fuel, none of that we just let the sun charge our batteries, we run electric motors so it’s a very quiet very natural leisurely tour of the mangrove.”
The boat used in the tour was designed and constructed by Macintosh’s own father. He built to boat to be able to maneuver through the mangroves without disturbing nature. The boat moves slowly in order for guests to enjoy the sights and sounds around them. The company’s main goal is to be as nature friendly as possible.
Heather Macintosh, Owner of Caribbean Shrimp: “What’s really important to us is that same concept that we don’t disturb nature, that we work with nature, our entire farm. So when people fly into the country they see our ponds but they always ask us ‘why the odd shapes?’; we built our ponds to work with nature, we built this entire farm to work with nature and then this channel is a natural channel; it actually has this really beautiful lake in the middle of it and when we spoke with some educated archaeological type folks they think that the Mayans may have actually made it a little bit that way so it would work for them. So it’s really interesting, there is some history in here, there is some culture in here there is so much more like understanding your environment really can help people to appreciate it more.”
Macintosh also explained why it was important for the company to provide this kind of agrotourism activity.
Heather Macintosh, Owner of Caribbean Shrimp: “It’s been I would say a fairly significant investment for our company to put into this but we believe in what w’er doing and we believe that agro tourism is that combination of agriculture and tourism and our whole purpose here is to be about that sustainability but communicating that and sharing the education and letting people take that back home with them. The boat tour right now we’re looking at operating it weekends until January and then daily up until Easter. Ticket prices right now right now we’re doing a special and it’s half priced $20 Belize per person, in high season it will be $20 US per person.”
The Caribbean Shrimp Company is the only aquaculture facility in Belize District and the oldest continuously operating shrimp farm in the country.