Beliza: Members of the Belize Shrimp Growers' Association are preparing for Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) assessment, thanks to funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
The Association expects eight farms, representing 89% of shrimp farms and more than 95% of total farmed shrimp production in Belize, to enter assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard later this year.
The Belize Shrimp Growers Association has been working with Mauricio Mejia, WWF Mesoamerican Reef program officer for aquaculture, to help the farms develop better management practices and reduce their environmental impact.
“Since 2007 the farms have been reducing their environmental impacts. There is still more to be done but they are on their way to be ready to enter assessment against the ASC standard,” said Mr Mejia.
“For me the certification of eight shrimp farms means the sustainability of the Mesoamerican reef – it will be a massive achievement and an example for other countries and industry.”
Through ASC certification shrimp farms aim to measurably reduce adverse impacts on the environment and local communities by preserving wetlands and mangroves; addressing the transfer of viruses and reducing disease; bringing cleaner water and ensuring the sustainable use of water; ensuring the responsible use of feed; and addressing biodiversity issues.