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June 12, 2015

Honduras

Mexico Might Block Imports from Honduras

 

The National Aquaculture Association of Honduras (ANDAH) has learned that Mexican shrimp farmers intend to ask the Government of Mexico to close its borders to shrimp imports from Central America (Honduras) and India.  Mexican farmers fear that shrimp from these regions pose a disease threat.

 

“They have a disease that we do not know if it is EMS....  We should not import shrimp as they do not accept or do not say what disease is the one they are facing.  We must close borders from a sanitary point of view....”, stressed Aldo Villaseñor Camacho, president of the Association of Aquaculturists in Ahome, Sinaloa, Mexico.

 

To Honduras, this restriction is worrisome, since it exports about 15 million pounds of frozen shrimp a year to Mexico.

 

According to Victor Wilson, president of ANDAH, shrimp production in Honduran has not been affected by early mortality syndrome (EMS), which last year caused heavy losses in Mexico, mainly in the states of Sinaloa, Sonora and Nayarit.  He said that last year the Honduran government and shrimp farmers took steps to prevent the entry of EMS from Mexico.  That decision led to the imposition of a 30 percent tariff on imports of frozen shrimp, which was eventually suspended in compliance with the provisions of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Central America and Mexico.

 

Wilson said that shrimp mortalities on Honduran shrimp farms during the first crop of 2015 were due to the lack of rain and high salinity (62 parts of salt per 1,000, when 30 is normal) in the Gulf of Fonseca.  He said that the domestic industry faces issues related to vibriosis as a result of weather conditions in the southern region of the country, but he stressed that vibriosis is one of the most common diseases in the shrimp industry.  In addition, he emphasized that the industry has taken all appropriate steps to avoid the presence of EMS on Honduran farms.

 

ANDAH thinks there will be a drop in production of five to ten percent in the first shrimp crop of 2015.  Farmers expect to produce between 1,500 and 1,900 pounds per hectare.  The shrimp industry expects to export 70 million pounds of shrimp this year, worth about $250 million.

 

Source: FIS United States.  Honduran Shrimp Farmers Worry About Likely Mexican Block.  Analia Murias (editorial@fis.com).  June 12, 2015.

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