Shrimp Industry

The shrimp harvesting industry in Honduras started with a pilot project in the northern coast in 1969, through the Armour United Fruit Company, that later moved its ventures to the Gulf of Fonseca area in 1972 in the south through the pioneering company, Sea Farms, with the purpose of carrying out investigations geared toward the development of an adequate production technology for the native shrimp species found in the area and the ecological conditions of the environment.

The investigations were carried out through the construction of an integrated laboratory of 40 hectares of experimental lagoons of various sizes; after 8 years of investigations, it was confirmed that the harvesting of “Peneidos” shrimp in the Gulf of Fonseca was feasible and profitable.   This was due to the production technology found and the optimum conditions that the Gulf of Fonseca provide.

Stemming from these conditions, the opening of the aquaculture business was begun in 1984, with small, medium and large producers, as well as traditional shrimp and salt producers.   At this time, national and foreign investors appeared, which in a joint manner contributed to the start of a promising industry for the development of Honduras.

In the development process, through lessons learned and experiments by shrimp producers in other countries, leadership was consolidated at a world level over productivity aspects based on what is sustainable development today.

Honduras has an industry composed of approximately 420 shrimp-farming projects that cover an approximate area of 24,500 hectares of production.   These productive units generate an annual average of 65 million pounds of export, and provide 150,000 direct and indirect jobs, with 52% being female labor, and benefiting around 500,000 people.

20% of the developed area is handled by the traditional, small and medium sector, which utilizes extensive technology to a certain degree, and 80% for an equivalent of 19,600 hectares belongs to larger companies that apply semi-intensive technology in 2 to 3 cycles per year, with production between 1,500 to 3,000 pounds per hectare per cycle.   There is an important number of traditional projects that produce solar salt during the summer.   The outputs of these traditional producers vary between 500 and 1,500 pounds of biomass per cycle.