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Honduran shrimp farmers worry about likely Mexican block

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Shrimp farm. (Photo: CODEFFAGOLF)
Click on the flag for more information about Honduras HONDURAS
Friday, June 12, 2015, 01:30 (GMT + 9)

The National Aquaculture Association of Honduras (ANDAH) assesses the position to be adopted after learning that the Mexican aquaculture sector intends to request the Government of Mexico to close the borders to shrimp imports from Central America and from India.
While there are no prohibitions on international trade agreements, Mexican farmers fear that shrimp from these regions may pose the risk of diseases affecting the sector.
"They [Central American and Indian producers] have a disease that we do not know if it is SMS or another. 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 phytosanitary point of view and from Central America," stressed Aldo Villaseñor Camacho, president of the Association of Aquaculturists in Ahome, Sinaloa, reported Línea Directa.
To Honduras, this restriction is worrying, since per year it exports about 15 million pounds of frozen shrimp to the Mexican market, El Heraldo newspaper reported.
According to Victor Wilson, president of Andah, so far shrimp production in Honduran farms has not been affected by early mortality syndrome (EMS), which has caused heavy losses in Mexico, mainly in the states of Sinaloa, Sonora and Nayarit.
He recalled that last year, the Honduran government and entrepreneurs from the shrimp industry took steps to prevent the entry of EMS from Mexico. That decision led to the imposition of a 30 per cent tariff on imports of frozen shrimp, which were eventually suspended in compliance with the provisions of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Central America and Mexico.
Wilson ensured that the levels of mortality registered in the Honduran shrimp industry in the first harvest cycle of the 2015 are due to the lack of rain and high salinity of the Gulf of Fonseca waters (62 particles per 1000 have been detected, when the normal is 30).
Andah president admitted that the domestic industry faces issues related to vibriosis as a result of the weather conditions in the southern region of the country, but he stressed that it 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 in Honduran farms.
Andah expects there will be a reduction of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent on the fixed production targets and for the first cycle a harvest has been planned of between 1,500 and 1,900 pounds per hectare.
The shrimp industry of Honduras expects to export 70 million pounds of shrimp this year, which would represent USD 250 million in revenue.
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