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June 7, 2014

Honduras

Grupo Granjas Marinas

 

   

 

 

Tenth Central American Aquaculture Symposium in Honduras, August 2014

 

Honduran shrimp farmer and processor Grupo Granjas Marinas plans to produce more than 34 million pounds of shrimp by 2015, as it continues to roll out its new shrimp farming method.

 

The company’s multi-phase inventory management system (MIMS) for farming, which improves production by increasing the survival rate of juvenile shrimp, allows production to increase without increasing stocking density or stress on the shrimp.  How does MIMS work? MIMS splits a 25-hectare pond into three 8-hectare sections and adds a 1,500-square-meter, greenhouse nursery, said Wilson, general manager of the company.  “We are totally opposed to increasing the density in the ponds.  We don’t believe its good for either the animals or our ecological system.  ...If the shrimp are less stressed, then they are less susceptible to diseases, such as EMS.” Wilson credits Brian Boudreau, the group’s head of aquaculture, for developing MIMS.

 

Shrimp are transferred from smaller to larger areas as they grow in order to use the pond area more efficiently.  As a result, predation of small shrimp is reduced, as is stress, Wilson said.  This method also means feeding is more efficient, as the specific feed for each stage of growth can targeted to shrimp of the right size.

 

Although the move to MIMS is not linked directly to EMS prevention, the outbreak of EMS in Asia and then in Mexico “maybe made us focus more on advancing MIMS”, Wilson said.

 

Granjas Marinas has 6,200 hectares of ponds and 3,000 hectares available for new ponds.  “We are, ultimately, looking to roll this system out to all the ponds, over five or six years.  ...We have transformed 400 hectares to our low-density, high-cycle model.”  In 2011, Granjas Marinas produced 24 million pounds.  “We did 29.3 million in 2013 and this year we will do 31 million.  In 2015, we are aiming for 34 million.”  Wilson plans to finish 2015 with close to 1,200 hectares of ponds using MIMS.

 

Granjas Marinas is “very concerned with long-term sustainability”, said Wilson, adding that the outbreak of early mortality syndrome (EMS) in Mexico played a part in pushing the development of MIMS.

 

Granjas Marinas will spend $50 million over the next five years in “base level and non-base level investments”, said Wilson.  “We have an aggressive five-year investment program.”  Investing in cooking capacity is also part of the company’s strategic plan.  “We are investing in a large steam cooker, as well as an immersion cooker for Mexican recipes.”  Sales to Mexico, where production has been hit hard by EMS, are going very strong for Granjas Marinas.  “For the Mexican market, consumption is increasing and production is declining,” he said.  The lack of domestic shrimp, because of EMS, is part of the situation, as is the expanding middle class in Mexico.

 

Mexico’s EMS woes, as well as the stuttering recovery in Thai production, where the true level of shrimp production for 2014 will soon become evident after the low level of 250,000 metric tons in 2013, means prices for shrimp have been very high.

 

“We have close to 1,000 single mothers in our workforce and as such we have an enormous responsibility for the long-term economic welfare of a segment of the population that can least afford disruption,” Wilson said.  “We are very conscious that we have close to 4,000 people depending on our continued success.”

 

Tenth Central American Aquaculture Symposium in Honduras, August 2014

 

Source:Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman.  Success of New Shrimp Farming Method Drives Granjas Marinas Production Growth.  Tom Seaman  (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com).  June 5, 2014.

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