The Chilean government seeks to boost aquaculture industry with the development of four species of fish farms in the north and south, to clear the extractive fishing that is virtually collapsed.
“Chile is pure coast and is much more convenient to become an aquaculture country instead of one focused in producing livestock as the years go by and capture fisheries have virtually collapsed,” said Patricio Bustos, director of ADL Diagnostic Chile, one of laboratories studying and controlling diseases of fish.
The Under-secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) aims to increase the sea bass farming, mahi mahi, hake and cod, as alternatives to salmon production.
“Salmon is a fish that because of its characteristics has a higher value and, therefore, a spectrum of specific market in which the sea bass does not compete,” said Bustos regarding this fish, whose exports in 2013 amounted to a value of US$ 3,517 million, increasing 21.6% from the previous year.
The identified species are under investigation within a program of the Corporation of Production Development (CORFO) and working in a context “that has to do with protection of national health equity,” Bustos said.
The truth is that “when importing species from other countries there are also important health risks” and therefore the evaluation of diseases that are common in these species are especially important according to ADL Diagnostic Chile.
Currently complete technologies are being developed for growing species, including cages and ponds for harvesting and fattening.
Decentralize the Chilean salmon fishing industry is one of the objectives of the project, but also promote the consumption of these species because “marine fish are a healthy food source rich in omega 3,” recalled Bustos.
Another activity that is being promoted is the cultivation of algae, that in opinion of the aquaculture division chief from SUBPESCA, José Miguel Burgos, is another activity with great potential in the sector.
Although the project is still in the experimental stage, one of the companies involved in this CORFO project, Acuícula Norte, are exporting mahi mahi to markets of the European Union.
Chile is now the second largest producer of salmon, species that has taken up the market but, with projects such as the one from CORFO, begins to make room for export other species.
(Source: América Economía)