Aquaculture Magazine

August- September 2016

Chile - The Chilean Fund for Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (FIPA) offers grants totaling 1 million USD for 10 new projects in fisheries and aquaculture research

A total of 190 tons of Bluefin tuna were released into the Pacific Ocean in joint agreement between CONAPESCA and the Mexican company Baja Aqua Farms on June 25th. 

By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine

The Subsecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) through the Fund for Fisheries and Aquaculture Research launched their fourth call for the 2016 public bidding for 10 new projects in the field of fisheries and aquaculture research throughout the country. The total investment exceeds USD$1 million.

Among the 10 projects, the proposal of “Biomass and exploitation status assessment of natural grasslands of brown algae in open access areas in the regions of Arica Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta” stands out with an investment of almost USD$200,000. The aim of the project is to determine the levels of abundance and exploitation of black kelp resources (Lessonia berteroana), as well as seaweed stick (Lessonia trabeculata) and long bladder kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) in the northern territory of the country. Around USD$150,000 were destined for the development of small-scale aquaculture and AMERB (acronym in Spanish for Benthic Resource Management and Exploitation areas) aquaculture in the Region of Magallanes, with the objective of identifying the appropriate areas for the exercise of the activity in the austral zone of the country.

Mexico – CONAPESCA and Baja Aqua Farms released 190 tons of Bluefin tuna to help in protection and recovery of the species as part of the voluntary commitment to reduce the 2016’s quota allocated by IATTC

A total of 190 tons of Bluefin tuna were released into the Pacific Ocean in joint agreement between CONAPESCA and the Mexican company Baja Aqua Farms on June 25th. During the release all the conservation measures established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) were implemented. The release is part of a set of actions that have the objective of protecting and restoring the Bluefin population.

With the aim of contributing to the recovery of the Bluefin tuna population, during 2015 the commercial fisheries, the Mexican authorities and Fisheries Commissioner Mario Aguilar agreed to establish a voluntary commitment to reduce the quota allocated by IATTC for Bluefin tuna landings this year, from 3,000 to 2,750 tons.

However, exceptional circumstances led the Mexican fishing industry to exceed the voluntary quota established for this year by 156 tons. Therefore in order to rectify the situation, 190 tons of captive Bluefin tuna were returned to the Pacific Ocean.

The authorities emphasized that such actions represent the commitment of Mexico to be the first country in the world to implement measures of this nature, with the firm intention of recovering the population of this species in the Pacific Ocean.

Honduran aquaculture companies with the aim of eliminating the effects of “Vibriosis” disease get shrimp export revenues 56 % higher than for the same period in 2015

For the first quarter of 2016, shrimp export revenues in Honduras were 56.5 % higher than for the same period in 2015, totaling USD$27.7 million.

Honduran shrimp aquaculture continues to recover from the “Vibriosis” disease that impacted production in the first trimester of 2015. For the first quarter of 2016 shrimp sales were higher, by USD$10 million compared to the USD$17.7 million exported in the same period in 2015. Regardless shrimp prices fell from $6.78 USD per kilo in 2015 to USD$5.53 per kilo in 2016, representing a reduction of 18.4 % in price.

The rise can be attributed to the implementation of “best aquaculture practices and biosecurity” in shrimp culture applied by Honduran companies with the aim of eliminating the effects of “Vibriosis” disease that impacted production and the stock of shrimp farms during the last trimester of 2015, this situation allowed to harvest shrimp in months that usually do not register high levels of production.

The early crops enhanced the frozen shrimp processing and packaging industry; this was reflected in higher exports. According to the official report “Honduran Economic Performance for the first trimester of 2016” published by the Central Bank of Honduras (CBH) on June 2nd, the country exported around 5 million kilos of shrimp representing a 92.2 % increase over the first quarter of 2015, when 2.6 million kilos were sold.

Still in process: Trade Agreement between Ecuador and EU would prevent Ecuadorian shrimp from paying 12 % duty, allowing the Latin American country to maintain its main export market

The agreement’s approval is still in process, and currently the official translations of the text have been delivered to the different nations of the European Council. The next step is the evaluation of the agreement by Trade Ministers and their technical teams, and a decision is expected on August 22nd. If there is no objection to the agreement, it will be approved for the European Commission to sign and for approval by the European Parliament and the Ecuadorian National Assembly.

If an objection is made within this period, the European Commission would vote on the accession of Ecuador, and by a simple majority, the agreement could be approved. This is not an ideal outcome, but it is an alternative.

All efforts by Ecuador are being concentrated on the agreement’s approval on August 22nd, to ensure it is sent to the Parliament in early October. José Camposano, president of the country’s National Aquaculture Chamber (CNA), said that Ecuador has the support from members of the European Parliament, and from Trade Commission members, to shorten the time of the approval process and have the agreement in place before the end of the year.

Currently, Ecuadorian shrimp exports to the EU market enjoy duty preferences, which expire at the end of this year. If the trade agreement is not approved, the Ecuadorian product will start to pay a duty of 12 % in 2017.

EU has become a natural client for Ecuadorian shrimp, besides its economical crisis the shrimp demand has been stable for the last few years; it represents approximately 40 % of shrimp exports with a total value between USD$ 700 – 800 million per year.

If the agreement is not approved and the 12 % duty is applied, losses for the Ecuadorian shrimp sector could reach USD$7 million monthly. This is why the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has stated that the agreement is a necessity for the country.

Vietnam is the main competitor of Ecuador in the EU market; to compete with the flexible cost structure of the Asian shrimp, Ecuador produces and processes an additional 15 % while managing to maintain stable production costs such as labor.

Last year, the 220,000 ha of shrimp farms in Ecuador produced 337,500 tons of shrimp, which were processed and exported to more than 50 countries, generating an income of USD$ 2,300 million. 

The Ecuadorian shrimp exports to the EU are extremely valuable for the country’s economy, contributing 10% of the FOB value exported. Hence the importance of the approval of this trade agreement.

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