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The spread of white spot disease in shrimp farms in Sonora has caused a "catastrophic drop in production", with a consequent negative impact on job creation, said the president of the Private Aquaculture Association in Sonora, Samuel Fraijo Flores.
In a cultivated area of about 25,000 hectares in 2013, about 12,000 tonnes of shrimp were produced, compared with 20,000 tonnes in the previous year, the sector leader pointed out to Dossier Politico.
Fraijo Flores said several senators in Sonora were informed through the Finance Minister Luis Vidagaray Caso, that the government would carry out an "adjustment to the budget of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa)" to provide Sonora with MXN 300 million (USD 22.8 million).
In this aspect, he expressed his hopes that at least a portion of this amount would be used to "introduce technology to the activity and make up for the damages and losses the crustacean viral disease caused to farms."
The Sonoran leader predicted that a shrimp production of between 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes is expected for this year.
He added that with regard to the health issue, protocols would be applied on farms. "Water entering from the sea will undergo sedimentation; an important space of the productive area will be lost in order to introduce more healthy water to the ponds, where shrimp are farmed.”
The production decline recorded in 2013 impacted on jobs: the 7,000 direct jobs the activity generated were down to less than a half, that is to say, 2,500 direct jobs.
As a side effect of the problems affecting the aquaculture sector, the fall in production of farmed shrimp has allowed the shore shrimp to keep a good price.
"Now we are above the MXN 300 (USD 22) per kilogram when the farmed one is worth about MXN 140 (USD 10), which is a large difference, but as there are no other options, the demand increases," he said.
By Analia Murias