Aquaculture Magazine

April/ May 2017

Latin America Report: Recent News and Events

Great Things Are Expected from Mexican Offshore Mariculture  

By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

Mexico. – Scientific researchers, producers and members of the industry gathered at the VII Offshore Mariculture Conference from March 6 to March 10 in Ensenada, Mexico. The conference was held for the first time in Mexico; previously, it was always held in Europe. The Conference offered a full program of technical seminars presented by key academics and professionals involved in the mariculture industry. 

Great things are expected from Baja California’s offshore mariculture in the up-coming years, not only because of its natural resources, but also because of the strong political will that the Mexican government has demonstrated. The federal and regional governments of Mexico have shown a strong interest in the development of mariculture. They have created a regulatory environment conducive for this in order to help investors take advantage of the favorable conditions of Baja California, such as weather, human capital, proximity to R&D Centers, universities, a strategic location for product exports, etc. 

Currently, several species of marine fish, such as tuna, yellowtail mackerel and totoaba are being produced in Baja California. The current production and export of marine fish in the state reaches 9 thousand tons, with a commercial value of about one billion pesos (USD 52,000 million). 

Mexico is seeking to consolidate the industry in the next decade. In January 2017, the Mexican government pledged USD 50-70 million for mariculture and infrastructure. Baja California, when compared to the rest of the country, takes the lead, by far, in the development of mariculture. However, there is still a long way to go, since the industry is just taking off and there are several opportunities for improvement to achieve the sustainability of the activity. 

The event stood out for its high quality in every aspect. The rich program of conferences and the dialogue tables that were organized at the end of each session made the attendees want to stay until the end. If you want to know more about the event, visit www.offshoremaricultureconference.com, where you can find detailed reviews. 

Peru Receives Support from the World Bank to Finance the National Program for Innovation in Fisheries and Aquaculture 

Peru. – In mid-March, the Peruvian government and the World Bank signed a contract for a USD 40 million loan to finance the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Innovation Program (PNIPA). 

The PNIPA is expected to fund up to 2,000 research, development and innovation projects. Moreover, it is expected to have a broad reach and involve more than 70,000 people and companies, from entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, suppliers and members of the industry, to fishermen in the sustainable development of the aquaculture and fisheries industries in Peru. The PNIPA will be implemented between 2017 and 2021.

Currently, the Peruvian aquaculture industry focuses on certain species such as shrimp and tilapia. However, there are many other species with high potential, but research and innovation are needed to develop their aquaculture potential, which is one of the objectives of the PNIPA. Additionally, the program will promote the improvement of fisheries and aquaculture value chains and reduce dependence on capture fisheries.

The PNIPA represents an investment of USD 130 million, of which the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Peru (MEF) contributed USD 81 million. The program comprises three major projects: (1) the National Fisheries Innovation Project, (2) the National Aquaculture Innovation Project, and (3) Improvement of the Governance of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Innovation System. More specifically, the program will seek to promote competitiveness in regions that already have a developed aquaculture sector that still have a lot of potential to exploit, and will also seek to promote regions that have not yet taken off.

Cargill’s Shrimp Feed Plant in Ecuador Right on Track 

Ecuador. – On March 13th, this leader in animal nutrition unveiled the first column of the construction of their feed plant carried out in Duran, Ecuador. 

The plant, which is expected to start operations in the second half of 2018, will have a production capacity of 160,000 tons of shrimp feed per year, and represents an investment of USD 50 million. 

During the celebration, Cargill’s General Director of Aquaculture in Latin America, Ángel Gómez Zambrano, mentioned that they are analyzing more projects in Ecuador, such as the possibility of building a Technology Application Center aiming to boost feed potential and providing new knowledge, to offer a better technical assistance service to Ecuadorian producers. 

Over the last years, shrimp has become the second most important non-oil product of Ecuador, after bananas, with exports reaching 820 million pounds in 2016, which represented an economic benefit of USD 2,536 million for the country. 

Throughout the process of the project, Cargill has received strong support from the government of Ecuador. In August 2016, the transnational company signed an investment agreement with the Ecuadorian government. Through this contract, the company obtains tax benefits such as exemption from income tax payment, foreign human capital, subsidies in electric energy and the possibility of importing machinery free from tariffs for the construction of the plant. 

Chile to Invest in 70 New Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Projects 

Chile. – The research program for the 2017 Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Fund (FIPA, for its acronym in Spanish) considers 70 new projects, half of which will focus on scientific research in aquaculture. The new projects will be added to the portfolio of FIPA’s ongoing projects, which total 139 studies. 

This year, FIPA will invest around USD 9 million (CLP 6,000 million) in the annual sector research program. Out of the 70 projects, 35 are related to aquaculture, 25 to fisheries, and 9 to socioeconomic aspects of the activity. Additionally, an impact study will be carried out regarding the role of FIPA in the process of decision-making on sectorial management measures.

The public bidding for the first eight research projects of FIPA 2017 started in early February. Among these projects, which have an overall budget of USD 1 million (CLP 710 million), stand outs include the update of the National Aquaculture Policy, studies on crustacean fisheries and algae in the north region, a health study on aquaculture, and a study on historical evolution of the northern oyster industry.


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