ASC certification for Shrimp Growers Association

Implementing partner: World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (WWF)
Other partner(s): Compete Caribbean and Belize Shrimp Growers Association
Country: Belize
Species: Litopenaeus vannamei
Targeted volume: 10,000 MT (large-scale farms)
Target: ASC
Project duration: 24 months (January 2014 – December 2015)

Project summary

As competition grows in the international market, retailers are searching for sources of sustainably certified shrimp. The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) provides such a certification, improving the environmental and social sustainability and gender equality on farms. Achieving ASC certification quickly will give Belize shrimp farmers a competitive advantage and privileged access to a high-value market.

The wider benefit of the certification scheme is that through certification the shrimp will be produced with minimal impact on the environment and the communities in which the farms are located. In terms of environmental benefits, the negative effect of effluents will be reduced through the adoption of standards for water quality management and through effluents retention and treatment. The principal social impacts will be a stable source of local employment, increased opportunities for women and seasonal workers.

Seven shrimp farms, accounting for 95% of production in Belize, are committed to the ASC-Shrimp certification process, the farms are located in the watershed of the Mesoamerican Reef, an ecoregion of global conservation significance and the largest transboundary coral reef in the world.

The Belize shrimp industry is set to be a regional reference for best practices in shrimp production and processing, enhancing the competitive sustainability of the entire industry.


“Achieving ASC certification of seven of Belize’s eight shrimp farms is proof that working together, industry and conservationists can find routes to sustainable development that secure private industry’s profits, while improving the livelihoods of communities and conserving critical natural resources and unique natural places like the Mesoamerican Reef.”


“The Belize shrimp industry is proud to be securing a sustainable future for shrimp production in Belize. Working together with NGOs and governments towards common goals, we are setting a global standard for the industry—becoming in 2014, the first shrimp producers to be certified under the ASC standard”


“The Compete Caribbean Program is delighted with IDH’s contribution to supporting Belizean Shrimp producers in reaching the targets defined in their Cluster Competitiveness Improvement Plan.

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region.

The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.”

 Compete Caribbean

Contact details

Mauricio Mejia,
Agriculture/Aquaculture Program Officer, WWF-Mesoamerican Reef Program


Watch the video about the Belize project

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