Red porgy is a popular fish in Asian countries. Its cultivation and export is being seen as a viable business option. (Photo: Stock File/CONAPESCA)
Red porgy farming tapped for Asian market
Thursday, January 14, 2010, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
The National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission (CONAPESCA) is promoting mariculture as an option to develop fisheries, like that of red porgy, in an effort to counteract the current problems of costs and production in the Mexican fishing sector.
Red porgy is a highly sought-after species in Asian countries, especially China.
According to the head of CONAPESCA, Ramon Corral Avila, red porgy fetches MXN 60 (USD 4.7) in Mexico, whereas the average value reaches USD 600 in the Asian market.
“In Mexico, this fish is normally undervalued or is not seen as a good business,” he affirmed.
“We need to change the view, to go to other fisheries where there are indeed possibilities of business growth, along the fine scale, such as sardine,” added Corral Avila following a tour that Mexican fisheries authorities carried out in China and other Asian countries.
He also emphasised the importance of using the sardine for direct human consumption, and not processing it only as fishmeal and fishing “to create food for pigs, birds and shrimp.”
Corral Avila stressed that aquaculture continues growing internationally, and commented that aquaculturists earned between USD 1,000 and 2,000 per hectare in 2009, although they may fetch USD 4,000.
The official assured that in the next three years, the National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission (CONAPESCA) will be focused on promoting mariculture, teaching and training producers on its advantages, mainly cooperatives, and working with them to become mariculturists.
At present, in Punta Perla, Jalisco, red porgy are recruited, but that in the immediate future they will work with fry produced in laboratory, as well as the food that consumes, he said.
The mariculture project for red porgy through fry will be presented to the Secretariat of Treasury and the president of the country, Felipe Calderon, for their approval.
Once approval is received, an approximate budget increase of MXN 500 million (USD 39.1 million) will be required each year.
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By Analia Murias