The Guatemalan Aquaculture and Fishing industry has become a success case for the Central American region. Among other goals, the industry raised its exports by 24% on 2017, implemented the usage of improved post larvae shrimp, consolidated its presence in markets like Mexico, the United States and the European Union; raised fishing imports to be later re-exported by Guatemalan companies; and implemented disease-control measures. With these, the industry has become a leader and success case for the entire region.
The rapid development of aquaculture and fishing companies has placed Guatemala on top of the region, mainly due to the high quality of its products and its intensive technology usage. For the first time, the country shared best practices of the aquaculture field with 27 international and national experts in topics like genetics, nutrition, pathology, food processing and main international markets. Attendees of the event updated their knowledge on these topics, which will be key for the continuous growth of our industry, said Mr. Juan Carlos Bolaños, president of the Aquaculture and Fishing division of AGEXPORT.
As stated by Mr. Bolaños, the shrimp-farming industry’s growth has been based on a new method of using small water pools for intensive shrimp cultivation. With this, production raises to as much as 60,000 pounds per hectare per cycle. More than 100 Guatemalan companies are nowadays producing using this method, mainly to supply the national demand but expecting to also export in the short-run.
The first Aquaculture Symposium celebrated in Antigua Guatemala offered an intensive program of 36 conferences with experts from the United States, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica. Additionally, the Thai expert on shrimp cultivation, M.Sc. Robins McIntosh, shared his experiences on an innovative system developed to eliminate the need to replace water in aquaculture pools, said Mr. Bolaños.
As part of the Guatemalan delegation of speakers, M.Sc. Alexander de Beausset, Mr. Emilio Eva, M.Sc. Mike Corser, MBA Carlos Gabriel Biguria and Mr. Alexei Gutierrez shared their success stories with the audience.
To close this first edition of the Aquaculture Symposium, the organizing committee offered the opportunity to attend site visits to the shrimp cultivation farm La Danta and its post larvae lab La Candelaria, as well as ‘Acuicola Maria Linda’, a fingerling cultivation farm. The idea with this site visits was to create a living-learning experience for visitors to learn about the best-practices established by our companies, said Mr. Bolaños.
The first Aquaculture Symposium gathered more than 400 attendees of all Latin America and offered an exhibition floor where 31 national and international suppliers of the industry displayed their portfolio of products and services.