Other Commodities and Natural Resource-Based Activities
Annual marine output fell marginally by 1.1% to 16.9mn pounds as a modest increase in farmed shrimp was insufficient to compensate for declines in the other major marine products. The increase however, was marginal and expanded by 1.8% to 15.9mn pounds, as an unexpected decline in output from the largest shrimp farm was more than offset by production from two new shrimp farms and a 27.8% increase in output from two other farms. Notably, there were decreases in lobster, whole fish and conch. In the case of fish, this was negatively affected by increased international competition, as traditional purchasers were able to source certain species at a lower price elsewhere. The downturn in conch and lobster was due mostly to the cyclical decline in their reproductive cycles.
Source: Central Bank 2014 Annual Report
Fresh Catch has a capacity to produce 4,000 Metric Tons (MT) per annum with estimated annual revenues of over Bz$12 million. There are currently 140 acres under tilapia production and 150 acres (60.7 Ha) of production ponds have been developed. The production area for small-scale fresh water aquaculture is 15 acres with mostly tilapia species being farmed.
The previous owner of Fresh Catch had experienced financial setbacks and was foreclosed upon in 2010. In March 2014, an investor bought the company and plans to rehabilitate the farm and commence fish production once again. His investment is seen as a major contribution to the fish farming industry that was on a downward trend.
Marine Farms Limited initiated harvesting of its cage cultured Cobia. Its current capacity is 500MT and was projected to export fish at a value of approximately US$6 million in 2008. The main export market is the US, particularly Miami with volumes of approximately 10,000 lbs exported weekly. Prospects to increase production to 5000MT are positive. By the end of 2007, the company employed over 30 people.