The Belize Aquaculture Limited and Vitali Alimentos, a Guatemalan animal feed company, have signed an agreement to grow quality shrimp post-larvae (PLs) stock to supply Belize’s shrimp industry. This follows recent improvements within the industry attributed to the infusion of technology and revised sanitation protocols for ponds, which have resulted in greatly improved productivity, reduced mortality and improved confidence, turning a new page for the once battered industry.

Vitali Alimentos produces shrimp feed under the brand name ARECA and is now venturing into the shrimp industry in Belize by providing genetically superior, disease-free shrimp stock through an agreement with Belize Aquaculture Limited. These PLs are the same stock grown by CP Thailand’s shrimp company, which grow at faster rates than those currently found in Belize. This will guarantee a shrimp variety that will provide larger and better harvests and stock, ensuring the viability of the shrimp industry as it is in its present state of regeneration.

In 2014, the shrimp industry was affected by Early Mortality Syndrome and has suffered since, with earnings plummeting from a high of BZ$90 million to BZ$10 million in 2016. However, with better pond technologies and advanced care protocols currently in place, as well as the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise through steps such as leveraging market access to Mexico, the shrimp industry is looking to much positivity with Plan Belize in action.