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Brazil's Fisheries Minister, Altemir Gregolim (2nd from L) and FAO representatives at the launching of ANA in Brasilia. (Photo: FAO)

Aquaculture Network for the Americas benefits industry

Click on the flag for more information about Chile CHILE
Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 22:20 (GMT + 9)

The adhesion of Chile to the Aquaculture Network for the Americas (ANA) will surely benefit the industries of salmon and mussels, as the new organisation will deal with sanitary questions and access to new markets, among other subjects of common interest.

Thus affirmed Alexander Flores, Fisheries and Aquaculture official of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), who revealed that Chile has ratified its interest in adhering to the network, although the signing has been delayed by the earthquake that struck the country last February.

The aim of this Network’s creation is to foment the sustainable development of industrial and small-scale aquaculture in 21 countries of the region, stimulating intergovernmental cooperation and favouring food security and the fight against poverty.

Its launch was formalised last 25 March in Brasilia, Brazil, set to be the temporary headquarters of the Secretariat for a period of two years and a half. During this time, the South American country will bank on the technical support of the FAO.

The rest of the countries that compose the Network are: Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guyana, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti and Canada.

Flores noted that regional aquaculture has had to face several threats to its sustainability: in particular, the sanitary and environmental crisis of the salmonids in Chile – due to infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus outbreaks – and shrimp in Brazil.

These problems caused steep falls in production and lengthy periods of recovery that produced significant economic losses and social consequences.

"For that reason, one of main products of the ANA will be the creation of an aquaculture code of good practises, that will be at the disposal of governments and players of the region,” Flores indicated.

By means of this support, the FAO seeks “to fortify the capacities of the diverse producer countries, to reduce the asymmetries in the development of the aquaculture sectors and to create a standing forum of dialogue,” Flores continued.

"The benefits are multiple, since strategic alliances can be materialised, access to markets analysed, [as can] technological transfers, information exchanges, etc., which is why the same Member-states will define the directives. Aquaculture is a fundamental activity for the region: it contributes more than 200,000 direct posts and nearly 500,000 indirect jobs,” he added.

Meanwhile, the executive secretary of the ANA, Felipe Matias, expressed that being the HQ of this entity “is an [act of] recognition for Brazil.”

This South American country will consolidate the Network, turning it into an organisation of international reference in aquaculture cooperation and a catalyst for the sustainable development of aquaculture in the countries of America, Matias told Aqua.

Finally, he explained that the head of Brazil’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministry, Altemir Gregolim, has guaranteed the donation of USD 1 million during 2010, so that the ANA can be operational while the country serves as the head office.

This year, meetings will be held in Paraguay (June), Mexico (September) and Costa Rica (November), to discuss small-scale aquaculture, the market for aquaculture products and genetic improvements in tilapia, respectively.

Related article:

- Aquaculture Network for the Americas launched

By Analia Murias
[email protected]



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