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Honduras Extends Tilapia Exports

01 February 2012

HONDURAS - In 2011, Honduras exported 19.1 million pounds (8,600 tonnes) of Tilapia to the US, Canada and Mexico.

Orlando Delgado, manager of the company Aquafinca Saint Peter Fish, recently told LaPrensa that following a good exporting year in 2011, nore growth has been predicted for 2012.

"This year we are exporting a higher value cuts of tilapia that have an additional value to the steak, and it is directed to a segment of the upper middle class market in the US," said Mr Delgado.

By the end of 2012 it is projected that the country will have exported at least 20 million pounds of tilapia, representing a growth of eight per cent compared to 2011. The income achieved from this would be over the USD60 million obtained in 2011, La Prensa reports.

Marco Alcerro, Aquafinca executive, explained that the goal in 2011 was to send 16 million pounds of steak. However, Honduras reached 18.2 million pounds, making the largest worldwide export of steak.

Small producers are also contributing to the culture of tilapia, but it is for domestic consumption. Currently there are about 1,500 craft producers that generate about 950 metric tons of meat and are located in Comayagua, Cortes, Olancho, Francisco Morazán and other areas of the west.

Roberto Reinauld, national director of Digipesca, said the government is supporting these business's.

"We have a research center in Comayagua and that is where we produce fingerlings, plus there is a technical body to provide assistance to producers who are increasingly more interested in growing the product," said Mr Renauld.

As part of the support, the authorities are in search of greater help to encourage other crops such as sea bass..

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