In 1996, after surveying our best options throughout Central and South America, the company decided to establish its new aquaculture venture in the northwestern corner of Nicaragua. Still on unsteady democratic legs in 1996, Nicaragua appeared risky but the timing seemed right to take advantage of its potential. 

Coming into a remote region with a relatively undeveloped shrimp-farming industry, the decision was made to establish a strong presence and to be as fully integrated as possible. Negotiations with the government yielded three land concessions totaling 900 hectares on the island of Mangles Altos in the Gulf of Fonseca. Additionally, we found an excellent site for our processing plant in El Viejo. In the Fall of 1996, the company began construction of a 26-pond, 208 hectare, semi-intensive shrimp farm on Mangles Altos. In 2000, the company obtained another 240-hectare concession adjacent to our landing site at Puerto Castilla, which is 20 kilometers by water from the island of Mangles Altos. 


In May of 1998, Sahlman Seafoods of Nicaragua was opened as one of the most modern shrimp processing plants in Central America with a daily capacity to process 120,000 pounds of shrimp per day. Utilizing a willing, well-trained staff as well as state-of-the-art equipment, the company was able to produce a top grade product acceptable to any market in the world. In addition to shrimp produced on our farms, another supply of shrimp comes mainly from local farms and cooperatives and during certain seasons from the small trawler fleet that operates off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The processing plant was built to U.S. standards and is in full compliance with the latest HACCP guidelines.  Maintaining these high standards ensures our clients the freshest frozen shrimp available. Both farm and processing plant were built and maintained in strict compliance with Nicaraguan environmental protection laws.