Belize’s natural resources and strategic location provide diverse opportunities for investors seeking to capitalize on investments focused on quality and sustainability. Belize offers an ideal marine environment that has bolstered continued growth and diversification in the fisheries and aquaculture industry. Being located only 2 hours away by plane from the US and other key Central American and Caribbean markets has enabled the industry to supply fresh products on a weekly basis. This continues to provide many benefits to the industry’s continued development, allowing Fisheries an income earnings contribution of up to 1.2% of Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017. Currently, the Fisheries and Aquaculture industry employs 1% of the labour force in Belize, totalling approximately 1,581 individuals with a multitude of indirect employment opportunities (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2018). Presently, capture fisheries species include Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch, Sea Cucumber and Finfish; while culture species include Pacific White Shrimp, Nile Tilapia, Cobia (Mari-culture) and emerging opportunities in seaweed farming.
As highlighted by the Inter-American Development Bank in a recent publication, “The World’s Most Ethical and Sustainable Shrimp Comes from Belize”, over 90% of Belize’s shrimp farms have an Aquaculture Stewardship Certification (ASC). This highly recognized certification serves as an indication that shrimp farms in Belize produce in a highly sustainable manner, taking into consideration best practices that preserve the environment and incorporate high standards of social responsibility.
It’s hallmark of quality across the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry have contributed to an increase in demand from various markets globally.
- Marine Cage Farming Systems – which are systems within the inner Barrier Reef Lagoon that benefits from major protection from hurricanes due to the various cayes and reef formations in the surrounding areas;
- Earthen Embankment Ponds – used to accommodate aquaculture ventures along the coastal plain as well as inland;
- Freshwater Cage Farming – used for inland aquaculture developments;
- Raft Culture / Rope Culture – for oyster and seaweed farming;
- Seaweed Farming – a valuable commodity towards fisheries diversification, fetching a premium price per pound of dried seaweed both in the local and export markets;
- Sea Cucumber Farming – a product in high demand with popularity in Asia stemming from the dried product’s unique components that serve different applications in food and medicine;
- Value Addition for Fisheries Commodities – these include value added fisheries products such as “ready to cook” seafood, development of fish feed, or applications in cosmetics through bio prospecting.
For more details on investment opportunities in Belize’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry, please feel free to contact our team at BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE!
14 Orchid Garden St.
City of Belmopan