Why Aquaculture in Panama?
When I first came down to Panama we used to have an ongoing joke when we went would take the occasional fishing trip. We'd take bets on if we could finish the first beer before there was a fish buzzing the line. Usually we would catch a fish or two before the first round. The locals with nets could go out for just a few hours and would typically come back with 300-400 pounds. Unfortunately that's no longer the case.
Here in Veraguas, near Santa Catalina there are simply fewer fish. Relatively it's still great, but demand has been slowing rising this whole time and supply has dropped. Aquaculture seems like the best means of stabilizing the market. Langostines are particularly important for foods here in Panama. Ceviche is very popular, especially shrimp
A polyculture of both fish and shrimp works very well for symbiotic growth. It helps control disease, lends cross synergy with feed and helps to create market diversity. Here at Lago Bay, we would like to find the right people to help launch a polyculture with six commercial ponds that have a total area of one hectare (about 2.5 acres). The hotel owners both here in our immediate neighborhood and around the corner in Santa Catalina have expressed plenty of interest. Shrimp is usually in more demand because the fishing regulations limit the industry to just a few weeks out of the year.
In general aquaculture has been the fastest growing sector of agriculture in many years. With overfishing and more and more advances in the industry, that trend should continue for many more years to come. Panama is no exception. Here at Lago Bay we like the idea of good, healthy resources. Aquaculture is high on the list.