Known as the Caribbean Queen, Cuba’s lobster has become the country’s top seafood export product so far this year, with total exports of fish and seafood products likely to account for $70 million by the end of the year, said Esther María Alejo, the general director of Caribex import and export company.
In an interview with The Havana Reporter, the specialist explained that as of the first days of November, total exports had reached nearly $60 million and about $10 million more are expected to be obtained from contracts with regular clients such as Japan, Canada, Central America, Spain, Italy and France.
Caribex markets sell live, precooked or raw frozen lobsters, as well as different seafood tails placing Cuba among the world’s largest fish and seafood producers, she added.
The company sells shrimp, tench, live eels, natural sponges, shark fins and frozen sea cucumber, with major import consortiums and trading companies in the world among its clients, including regular customers such as the European corporations Pescafina and Pescanova, and Japan’s Maruha Michiru, the expert noted.
In the meantime, the Caribex representative explained that aquaculture products such as shrimp would provide a major boost to export sales, because fishing in Cuban waters is under strict environmental and economic control.
For instance, Alejo said, farmed shrimp exports alone are expected to have yielded more than $12 million by the end of 2015.
The fishing section to which Caribex belongs is comprised of 93 entities, including those dedicated to farming and catching at sea, different processing industries and research centers, the specialist commented.
Caribex’s objective is to keep and enlarge its markets, offer products at the best prices possible, and work together so that the 93 entities help increase the amount of foreign currency for the country, while preserving sea species and the ecosystems in general, the company’s director stressed.
There is a national development program for every single one of the exporting products and in the case of farmed shrimp, it represents a new offer in the business portfolio for foreign investors.
With the trademarks Batabanó and Conga, Caribex exports farmed shrimp that are internationally recognized for their texture and taste, said marketing specialist Manuel López.
Spain, France, Italy and Canada are the top importing countries and Vietnam joined them recently, while other possible markets in Asia are being studied, explained López.
“Loyalty characterizes our customers, and some of them have maintained trading links with Caribex for more than 40 years,” he added.
In December this year the company’s commercial activity will be intense, as it is associated with the Christmas and New Year’s festivities, López sustained.
Exporting operations are regularly undertaken by sea using climate-controlled storage containers, but the company’s logistic mechanism also allows shipping by air, Esther María Alejo said.
Neither the Caribbean Queen nor any other highquality product commercialized by Caribex can enter the U.S. market due to prohibitions associated with the U.S. blockade, a policy maintained for more than 50 years by the States and that Alejo called “a regrettable siege that punishes the whole world.”Share on FB Share on TT