By Nicolás Hurtado*
Over 50% of the tilapia sold in Peru is produced overseas. Last year, Peru imported more than 1,350 tons of tilapia, of which a large percentage came from China. Something similar happened with catfish, of which 1,850 tons of steaks were imported, mainly from Vietnam. “Many don’t know these are imported species. It´s good that people are informed in order to make decisions, especially because everybody prefers a fresh fish”, said Jorge Luis Favre, CEO of Acuahuaura. This shows the enormous potential of Peruvian aquaculture of many species, as the country has ideal environmental conditions and countless aquatic resources.
Honduras, first tilapia fillet exporter to the USA
Honduras is again in the global podium. This time the prize goes to the fresh tilapia fillet segment, after this country became the largest exporter of this product to the US market. The only Honduran exporter of this species is Aquafinca (with Swiss funding), with headquarters in San Francisco de Yojoa, after the other exporter that was engaged in the same activity ceased operations in 2008.
Orlando Delgado, Aquafinca’s CEO, projects a record 21.6 million pounds of production, or an income of about USD$70 million.
Mexico: inauguration of a tilapia farm
With 27 floating cages that will provide work to more than 30 Mexican families, a tilapia farm was inaugurated on March 1st by Sinaloa’s citizens and authorities. Maria del Rosario Alapizco, the project’s main promoter, informed that this required an investment of USD$400 thousand, provided by the State’s Government. This project will use a peripheral model for tilapia culture; floating cages are made of blacksmith material with 200 l plastic floats.
Tilapia is one of the main culture species worldwide (over 3.7 million tons), China being the largest producer with 1.35 million tons per year. In Latin America, Brazil is the main producer of this species with more than 190 thousand tons.
Nicolás Hurtado Totocayo has a degree in Aquaculture Engineering and a Master in Business Management from Federico Villarreal National University (Peru). He is a founding member of the Peruvian Association of Aquaculture Professionals (ASSPPPAC), and is its current President. He also works as an Aquaculture Consultant.