A shrimp processing plant. (Photo: Andahn.org)
Shrimp exports expected to be over USD 200 million
Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 16:20 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG) and Honduran farmers expect shrimp sale abroad exceed USD 200 million during the current season, ending in May.
According to data provided by the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH) in 2011 shrimp were exported for USD 166.2 million, or approximately USD 26.5 million more than in 2010.
This increase was due to the rise of 16.4 per cent in its average price, the newspaper La Tribuna reported.
At present, shrimp farming generates over 20,000 direct jobs in the south area of the country -- departments of Valle and Choluteca -- and shipments are directed mainly to the US.
The executive director of the National Aquaculture Farmers’ Association of Honduras (Andah), Marco Polo Micheletti, believes so far the weather has helped the sector, which will surely be able to harvest more than the 50 million pounds of shrimp harvested in 2011.
"This year it will also depend on international market prices and on the added value we generate," said a sector source.
According to statistics from the BCH, farmed shrimp production allows Honduran fishing to continue growing, reflecting an increase of 8.4 per cent during last year.
However, in 2011 there were declines of 8.8 per cent in shrimp and lobster catches, and 7.2 per cent in the breeding of fish, like tilapia.
Furthermore, the Directorate General for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Digepesca), SAG and the company Agua Finca Saint Peter Fish will conduct a biological monitoring to determine the population status and the feasibility of exploiting the catfish (Cathorops melanopus) in the reservoir El Cajón.
In this regard, Digepesca director, René Gutiérrez announced the coordination of the activities required for the implementation of the biological monitoring to determine the abundance and the economic potential of the resource, which currently has no commercial value.
The authorities also intend to boost the economic development of fishermen from the Fishermen's Association of Francisco Morazán Hydroelectric Dam (Adepec).
By Analia Murias