Zandy DeBeausset from Acuamaya presenting at the Guatemala Aquaculture Symposium

Updated: May 30, 2020

Zandy DeBeausset from Acuamaya presenting at the Guatemala Aquaculture Symposium "Caso de exito en el cultivo intensivo de camaron en Guatemala" High land costs, challenges drove Guatemala to seek higher shrimp densities A scarcity of suitable land, challenges with diseases such as white spot, and a lack of access to large estuaries made getting into shrimp farming a tough task for Guatemalan farmers, Alexander de Beausset, a vice president with Acuamaya, a major shrimp farmer. “In addition to this we have suffered frequent floods, earthquakes, eruptions as you can see, low prices and socio-economic problems. And despite all this, Guatemala continues producing between 35 million and 40m pounds (15,875 metric tons to 18,100t) in only 1,400 to 1,600 hectares of farming area. And we are characterized as one of the most productive growers in the world,” he said. To a large extent the country has overcome some of these challenges by pursuing intensification moving away from large ponds to stocking higher densities, which began around 2003. “What we did in the eight or nine months in which we could grow shrimp in order to avoid white spot disease, we had to produce more,” he said. Farmers added air, energy and additional pumping to large ponds. “Their densities rose and that’s where we began to change the entire direction of shrimp farming in Guatemala,” he said, adding that small- and medium-sized firms lined their ponds with plastic and improved their productivity.

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