Belize in the Shrimp Global Value Chain

Shrimp is the second-leading seafood species as measured by world trade, trailing only salmon. There has been a strong increase in recent production, with global output increasing from 6.5 million MT in 2006 to 8.3 million MT in 2015, a jump of nearly 30%. The world’s leading shrimp producers traditionally have been in Southeast Asia; however, Early Mortality Syndrome has hurt stocks in Thailand and other locations. Belize is one such country. Aquaculture has traditionally been an important generator of revenue and foreign exchange, but a recent outbreak of EMS has decimated production and threatened the survival of multiple smaller and medium-sized businesses. This report uses the GVC framework to analyze Belize’s position in the shrimp industry and identify strategies for improving the competitiveness of domestic businesses.


Individuals within governments, nonprofits and the academic community have an interest in enhancing their understanding of how oceans impact the global economy. Whether the interest is in monitoring the health of fisheries, patrolling the surface or creating precise maps of the seafloor, the need for information on the ocean is vast. The Duke GVC Center, in partnership with its sponsors, conducts research on ocean-related global value chains.

Reports produced: 6
Publications: 4
Presentations: 6
Countries: United States and Canada

Here is a snapshot of the impact generated for one of Duke GVC Center’s clients within the ocean industry.

Nova Scotia’s Ocean Technologies – A Global Value Chain Analysis of Inshore

Client: The Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (NSERDT)

Challenge: NSERDT was looking to achieve three main objectives:
1. discover the market position and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) for Nova Scotia’s companies;

2. identify market and technology trends; and

3. make recommendations for increasing the competitiveness of the sector in Nova Scotia.

Approach & Outcome: To achieve these goals, the Duke GVC Center conducted a research report that focused on Nova Scotia’s position in three value chains: inshore and extreme climate vessels, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and underwater sensors and instrumentation. The Duke GVC Center provided an additional section within the report that provided specific recommendations related to supporting Nova Scotia companies, moving into higher value-added activities and regional value chain development activities.

The NSPS Shipbuilding Value Chains

The report analyzes the anatomy of the ships procured under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), identifies opportunities for companies to participate in their construction and maintenance, and makes recommendations to government about supporting Nova Scotia companies, moving into higher value-added activities, and developing the regional value chain.

The NSPS Shipbuilding Value Chains (Lunenburg Press Presentation)

The NSPS Shipbuilding Value Chains (Ships Start Here Panel)

ROV/AUV Trends: Market and Technology

The Duke University Global Value Chains Center recently completed a study on ocean technologies, including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), for a consortium led by Nova Scotia’s Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (ERDT). Excerpts from the report on the market and technology trends in ROVs and AUVs are provided in this article.

Geosynthetics: Coastal Management Applications in the Gulf of Mexico

Coastal management projects to restore the Gulf Coast nearly all use geosynthetics-polymer-based materials that can improve structure performance, reduce project time and cost, and lessen environmental impact. This study for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) analyzes 84 firms linked to geosynthetics and coastal management, providing jobs in the five Gulf Coast states and 31 others.

View EDF’s press release from July 26, 2012 regarding the report.

Market and Technology Trends in Underwater: Sensors & Instumentation

Restoring Gulf Oyster Reefs: Opportunities for Innovation

Several natural and man-made stressors are destroying Gulf Coast oyster reefs, jeopardizing a resource that protects the shore, filters water, and increases marine fisheries production. Restoring oyster reefs will maintain these valuable ecosystem services, and support a network of 132 innovative small and medium sized businesses across 22 states. View EDF page on Restoring the Mississippi River Delta.

ROVs: A Global Value Chain Perspective

This article discusses the ROV value chain and Nova Scotia’s position within the chain.