Spanish seafood giant Grupo Pescanova hopes to produce 2,000 direct jobs and 30,000 tons of seafood annually with the opening of its new $45 million squat lobster operation in northern Nicaragua.
Grupo Pescanova President Manuel Fernandez de Sousa said the plant will produce $100 million annually in this fastgrowing sector of seafood exports.
“The squat lobster was once a luxury product, but it’s becoming more and more accessible,” Fernandez said during the inauguration of the company’s Chinandega plant Sept. 30, an event attended by President Daniel Ortega.
Ortega said it will be important for Nicaragua to strengthen commercial ties with European, Asian and other countries as the United States heads into a recession.
The 20,000 square meter plant, which took nearly a year to build, is the first plant to consolidate the entire squat lobster production process in one operation, which includes three processing lines where the lobster will be packaged fresh or frozen for export. The plant includes a lab where lobsters larvae will be cultivated before being raised on lobster farms. Fernandez said it’s the biggest of its kind in Latin America.
Nicaragua is a prime location for squat lobster cultivation because its hot climate reduces the likelihood of illnesses, Fernandez said. The squat lobster, known in Nicaragua as langostino, is neither a true lobster nor a prawn but is related more closely to the crab.