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Nov 16, 2015

Shrimp Industry Hit by Viral Infection

We’ve been following the crisis in the shrimp industry where losses to jobs and finances are massive. Six hundred persons have been let go so far and losses are in the range of thirty million dollars. It is all due to a bacteria that has infected more than fifty percent of the fifteen shrimp farms in the south, forcing them to shut down operations. While it has just come to light in the media, the President of the Shrimp Growers Association, Alvin Henderson says the infestation started months ago.

 

Alvin Henderson

Alvin Henderson, President, Shrimp Growers Association
“We had a disease incident in the country which began in March of this year. I was contacted by somebody from Channel Five on Friday night and I was like what’s going on? They told me how come you guys have been able to keep this below the radar? I said I had no idea it was below the radar; I thought this was a matter that was in absolutely sunlight. So I was confused. But either ways, we had a deceased incident in March of this year, which is something that we didn’t have for fourteen years. In terms of impact on hard currency earnings, you will probably see a decline of about thirty percent. Last year, hard currency earnings were in the range of about ninety million Belize [dollars]; I think this year we are coming in around sixty million [dollars]. So it is going to be significant. In terms of employment, it has been material…it’s been about forty percent. So in terms of people impacted that are directly employed. But again these thing happen in agriculture.”

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