Seven years of research and work, personal savings and assistance from family has helped an Antiguan and Barbudan to create the country’s first freshwater prawns and crayfish farm.
For Kevin Alexander, the owner of Sea Springs Aquafarm, this jump into entrepreneurship is not just seen as a means of financial gain, but an acknowledgement that the world’s vast oceans cannot sustain its population’s demand for seafood.
“A lot of the seafood that we eat today are farmed; you could look at bags of shrimp, tuna, salmon and you will see a majority of them saying farm raised,” he explained. “The ocean stock of fish is depleting slowly and we need to get more people into fish farming or aquaculture where they can raise fresh fish, prawns, lobster, you name it.”
Alexander explained that the idea for the farm was born out of a “casual conversation” about the products that Antigua and Barbuda produced years ago. He recalled that attempts were made to run a shrimp farm in Seatons years prior, a memory that would trigger his curiosity into the prospect of farming these creatures in tanks.
Alexander also believes that this venture could help to reduce the country’s import bill. He explained that, based on the statistics he received back in 2016, the country was importing up to 120,000 pounds of shrimp per year. The entrepreneur is hopeful that the business would not only be able to help service local demands for the produce, but export to territories in the region and further afield as well.