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Posted July 22, 2008 by publisher in Cuba-World Trade

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Cuba L Direct

Cuba is an archipelago (a system of isles and keys) with a 5,500 Km coast line. The southern coast faces the Caribbean Sea, northwestern coast faces the Gulf of Mexico and the north and northeastern coasts face the Northern Atlantic Sea and are under the influence of the Northern Equatorial Stream.

In a subtropical climate, there exist lots of possibilities for Cuba to have a year-round production from direct fishing or from fish-farming. There are four regions (protected areas), with an extensive shelf and variable depths of up to 20 mts.

In these areas, even under the worst weather conditions, there is always top
protection. Fish farming can also be carried out even in areas where the
marine shelf is not extensive, especially in the central and eastern part of
the country where temperatures range from 23-27 °C and waters from the Gulf
(Gulf Stream) guarantee a continuous non-polluted, high quality water flow.
The Caribbean region has in recent years experienced a significant growth in
the tourism industry. Cuba has taken part in this process for which quick
and continuous development is necessary and it all implies a larger
availability of foodstuffs where fish products are among the preferences for
this fast-growing industry.

The country has road and electric infrastructures that facilitate the
development of these activities. Cuba also has a satisfactory network of
airports and sea ports to guarantee exports of fresh and frozen fish
products to Europe and the Americans. These areas will continue growing in
the future.

The Cuban Ministry of Fisheries is the governing agency that stipulates the
guidelines for its Fishing Associations. The Association is a State-run
economic organization with its own independent legal personality and assets,
which is joined by other companies and/or economic organisations under the
same conditions. Its general functions include: coordinating the policies
laid down by the Ministry of Fisheries and other governing agencies of the
National Economy; studying the feasibility of new projects aimed at widening
markets and obtaining new businesses, and developing other activities common

The Associations are established on the basis of their productive or service
activities, and include: Fishing of fish-farming Associations spread along
the 14 provinces of the country and the Isle of Youth Special Municipality;
Deep sea fishing and port running Association (PESPORT) and Shrimp farming
Association (CULTICAM); special Association for industrial fish processing
(INDIPES), which is also responsible for distribution and marketing of fish
products at national level and at the borders; Ship-building and technical
services (ARGUS) Association.

A new commercial enterprise-PESCAVANTE S.A, with 100% Cuban capital, was
established in 2000 with the purpose of promoting, managing and implementing
the financial, investment and development policy on new International
Economic Associations under the corporate system of the Ministry of
Fisheries. Currently, some 150 species from Cuban territorial waters are
subject to catches. Specialized fishing covers only a few species (lobster,
shrimp, tuna fish, crabs, sponges, turtles). Traditional fishing is still in
used for all other species.

Foreign investment opportunities:

- Development of sea and land aquaculture by using top-of-the-line fish
farming technologies and introducing highly nutritional and tradable
species: sea-bass, sea-bream and others to be considered.

- Development of Processing Industry through the introduction of
state-of-the-art technologies with a view to increasing value added in
finished products.

- Development of the fish processing industry with top-of-the-line
technology and increased value added to finished product

- Development of the artificial food producing industry (feed) for farming
of selected species.

- Increased offshore fishing operations with Cuban ships and crews.

- Development of shellfish farming.

- Development of live lobster production.

- Ship building


The main target of sea aquaculture development in Cuba is the introduction
of new farming biotechniques for highly commercial species such as sea bass
and sea bream, which are foreign species with chances for adaptation to
Cuba’s climatic conditions. Guarantees for this development include:

- High levels of water purity, as well as high temperatures throughout the
year allowing for a shorter period of growth in such species which could be
marketable according to demands.
- Large number of bays and inlets favoured by geographic protection lines
required in this activity. This facilitates the construction of intensive
farming centers at lower costs given the natural protection that the
ecosystem renders.
- Availability of hatcheries for fingerlings production. Facilities are
presently being utilized in similar activities and have available
- Industrial Fish Processing Plants which comply with the EU requirements
for fish processing.

Availability of land and maritime cold-storage facilities.

Foreign investment opportunities

- The proposed model can reach its maximum production capacity of 300 tons a
year. It can be adapted for lower productions. Small-scale production is
required for foreign species in order to demonstrate the technological
feasibility of the project, in which case risk contracts are entered into.
- Economic and financial estimates are based on a fish farming center with a
300-ton capacity. Fingerlings will be purchased in available markets with
species of interest and will be taken to Cuba for their farming. A 70 %
survival rate and a 500-gram average weight are estimated in this project.
Commercialization will take place in whole, fresh units.
- Requirements: New technology, financing (working capital), access to
markets. Different business modalities could be negotiated with the foreign
partner including the establishment of International Economic Associations
(Joint Ventures, etc.)

Land aquaculture

This activity has gained momentum in Cuba in the last few years, with levels
of up to 70,000 tons of tilapia and Chinese carp per annum for domestic
consumption. This production comes from dams and 1,000 ha of ponds located
in 62 farming centers, out of which 12 have high-quality fish processing
plants. However, the main focus is on diversified cultivation through
natural feeding or organic matter added to the country’s dams and ponds.
This technique, known as extensive farming, curtails the fishing industry’s
export potential because of the very low yields obtained.

- Cuba’s Fishing Industry has:
- Water networks and facilities for water management.
- High genetic quality reproduction banks.
- Know-how for fish farming, from fingerlings production to fattening
- Processing, packing and transportation technology.
- Marketing channels.
- Markets with high demand and expansion potential.

Foreign investment opportunities:

- Development of intensive and superintensive farming of these species
allowing for an increased production and export.
- Development of specialized farming centers for production of tilapia for
- The foreign partner would contribute financing for working capital.

Oyster farming

The steady development of this activity in Cuba has been triggered by the
experience gained throughout the years together with the dynamic and
continuous adaptation to the new conditions in this area. A farming
biotechnique at commercial-level has been developed since 1986 for increased
production of Crassotrea rhizophorae (mangrove oyster).

Foreign investment opportunities:

- Increase and diversify shellfish production, through the introduction of
new species.
- Improve quality in current presentation of products.
- Export to the Caribbean and other areas.
- The foreign partner is expected to contribute technologies, financing and

Offshore Fishing operations

Existing limitations as to the sustainable maximum catch levels of fish in
our exclusive economic zone have led to the search for new fishing areas.

Foreign investment opportunities:

- Enhancement of environment-friendly fishing activities with large vessels
in Africa and other areas of interest.
- Expansion of operations with small vessels in Central America, the
Americas and the Caribbean.
- Creation of cold-storage facilities in Cuba for distribution to the
Americas and the Caribbean.
- Foreign partners should secure financing, access to markets, and fishing
licenses to operate in third countries. Different business modalities may be
considered, including the establishment of International Economic
Associations. The Cuban partner would contribute the vessels and highly
qualified personnel.

Processing sector

Infrastructure development is a top-priority task for Cuban Fishing
Industry, as also is the search for advanced technologies which help
increase value added to raw materials from natural resources obtained in
fishing operations or aquaculture.

There are more than 30 facilities in the country and the necessary
infrastructure to guarantee the processing and preservation of products. The
development of lobster and shrimp processing plants to meet EU export
requirements has been a top-priority in this area. Fresh, frozen, mixed and
smoked foodstuff manufacturing and processing plants are among Cuba’s
installed capacities.

The development of this industry implies the introduction of new
presentation and packing designs for lobster and shrimp, new technologies
for processing of sea and fresh water species, and obtaining high value
added products for external and domestic markets.

Foreign investment opportunities:

- Investment in Industrial Processing Facilities nearby fishing areas.
- Increased raw materials availability.
- New technologies, financing and access to markets are required to develop
this industry. Different business modalities, including the establishment of
International Economic Associations, can be considered with the foreign

Production of live lobster

The quality of Cuban lobster is recognized in all markets worldwide and
enjoys a high prestige within marketing networks. The Ministry of Fisheries
is, therefore, focused on increasing the volume of this product in the world

Commercialization of live lobster in the international market would result
in an 18% increase in income as compared to income from commercialization of
frozen lobster.

Foreign investment opportunities:

- To develop this type of production, investments are required in order to
secure adequate treatment for a product that will have to endure 48-56 hours
of transportation to Asia and Europe mainly.
- An increased catch of live lobster is envisaged for a second stage, and
this implies more investment to enhance and transform fishing techniques.

Ship building

Argus Association comprises 15 enterprises and 7 shipyards. Its main
activities include: ship building and repairs; ship electronics and

  1. Follow up post #1 added on August 24, 2008 by mr. hakeem j. ferguson

    greetings,  just wanted to make a short comment towards fishery housing and live lobster/ frozen lobster/fish.    i am a bahamian-american and my family and i have an existing small business as brokers with our own international fishery corp. we are still in the developmental stages but we plan to use some of our generational land in the south eastern bahamian islands to house some of our catch prior to transport which is close to cuban fishing waters. in addition to the outer island housing of goods and equipment we will be building a fishery house in the mainland, nassau.  if you could share any networking links or any ideas to help forward or mission please feel free to e-mail a response. i also hope that maybe we may be of any service to you and your fishery projects or idealists in cuba.  we would like to talk with all people interested in uniting and calborating a clean carribean fishing and farming effort.        h.j.ferguson

  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 06, 2009 by Hong

    We are an import company in Viet Nam. We are interested in importing Cuba lobster and other seafood. Please contact us at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
    Thank you

  3. Follow up post #3 added on April 10, 2011 by Two Eagles inc.

    I am looking for some investment opertunities for my company. We access to the fishing industry, permits for Maine lobster, cod, scallops, shrimp,and many other sea food. We are Passamaquoddy fishermen that are looking to expand our business.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on April 11, 2011 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    You can sell seafood to Cuba but it’s complicated.

    You first have to know the OFAC restrictions and challenges on the US side then you have to understand how to sell to the Cuban government, the buyer of ALL imports into Cuba.

    We offer a comprehensive, customized consulting report that would completely answer all your questions and introduce you to people who can take you to the next level.

    See my signature for more information.

    Cuba consulting services

  5. Follow up post #5 added on October 21, 2011 by Haydave

    Consultant Live Lobsters

    If anyone needs any advice on catching, processing,exporting, marketing, live lobster Then with 35 years hands on years in the fishing industry I can assist. Please feel free to contact me. Regards Dave Pooley New Zealand

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