Belize Shrimp Industry Receives Approval for Renewal of Export License to Mexico

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the phytosanitary health body that oversees plant and animal health for Belize, including exports and imports, has recently indicated that Belize has gotten the green light to renew the export of shrimp to Mexico.

BAHA has been in constant contact on several areas of export and import with their counterpart authorities from Mexico, the Mexican National Agro-Alimentary Health, Safety and Quality Service (SENASICA), and today confirmed that the Mexican authorities via Mauricio Flores Villasuco, director of Aquaculture and Fishing Health at SENASICA, has given the go-ahead for shrimp exports to resume. The shrimp export license expired in 2019, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the requisite inspections connected with license renewal had been delayed.

Shrimp exports represent a potential market of at least BZ$87 million with employment for some 1,500 persons, according to shrimp industry figures. The Mexican market is a significant part of that total value and is especially significant to Belize because of its proximity. Costs such as ocean freight are not factored into the calculation of the total value of the exports.

Shrimp production has been down since 2015, particularly due to disease affecting the production of shrimp on local farms. Lately, however, the shrimp sector has been given a boost through intervention from the Government of Belize for financing for the sector and new technologies being implemented in the design of ponds.

The announcement follows the recently held bilateral working meeting where Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, and his Mexican counterpart, Dr. Victor Manuel Villalobos, agreed on partnerships in areas of agriculture between the two countries, including the export of shrimp.

This is another resounding success for Plan Belize, as agriculture leads the way in the country’s economic recovery.