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Nov 27, 2015

More on the Shrimp Crisis in the Aquaculture Industry

It went mostly under the radar until very recently, but the shrimp industry has taken a major hit and it hasn’t recovered. We’re talking all shrimp farms in the country but one completely closed down…six hundred employees laid off and production down to almost zero, a loss of about thirty million dollars so far. Today Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega told News Five they’re doing everything possible to get the industry back on its feet.

 

Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture

Gaspar Vega

“We’re still doing some studies. They’re still doing some assessments on what we need to do. There are some people who are starting some new ponds. We have a study where the farmers want to try and have both the shrimp with the tilapia because the tilapia faeces create an antibody for the viruses that affect the shrimp. But we have not been able to see the result yet. It’s just the study and the preparation. But one thing I would like to say…like the challenge that we had with the bird influenza…everybody came together and they made hard decisions and the shrimp industry is doing the same. They shut down and everybody is together ensuring that whatever measures they make, all the farmers make it because that’s the only way we will be able to get out of this crisis that we’re in with the industry. I have all confidence that by the end of the year we will be able to start seeing some shrimp production in Belize.”

 

Reporter

“Is there some concern that the markets which are currently available might not be available when we do get up and running?”

 

Gaspar Vega

“I don’t think so Mike. Because today, like we always say in our Ministry, you have to have quality, you have to be consistent and you have to be competitive, and once you can provide these three, we won’t have a problem.”

 

 

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