Cages used for farming sea bream in Madeira. (Photo: Ilhapeixe/Stock File/FIS)
Madeira intends to cultivate tuna within 10 years
Thursday, December 23, 2010, 16:40 (GMT + 9)
The aquaculture industry in the region of Madeira is growing consistently, and although to date they only produce sea bream (Sparus auratus), it is estimated that within a decade, companies will be ready to produce tuna, greater amberjack (Seriola spp.) and other species.
Currently, the three companies engaged in aquaculture produce around 500 tonnes of sea bream. Of this production, two thirds are exported and the rest is used for domestic consumption.
Now, employers are prepared to add to the production of this species, unique to date, snapper and sea bass. And towards the end of the decade, they seek to harvest large pelagic fish.
Since the regional government launched a pilot aquaculture project in Bahía d'Abra during 1990, they have made a major effort to diversify production, and now "the results are beginning to emerge."
The head of the Calheta Mariculture Center (CMC), Carlos Andrade, said that aquaculture is an activity that "will grow rapidly in the region of Madeira."
The two companies working with cages at sea in the region, Aquailha and Ilhapeixe, "have plans to grow much in terms of the structure of cultivation," said Andrade. With the third company, Aquaman, operating on-land tanks.
The Mariculture Center, part of the Regional Directorate of Fisheries, continues to play an important role in the development of this nascent industry through the provision of knowledge and experience of its staff to achieve maximum utilization of resources in the region.
By Silvina Corniola