Antillana has around 140 tonnes of cobia in their cages. (Photo: Antillana/FIS)
Cobia seeks foothold in foreign markets
Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 03:50 (GMT + 9)
The company, Antillana, has initiated a project for the aquacultural production of cobia (Rachycentron canadum), a fast growing species, with high nutritional quality and a high global demand for its use in sushi, as well as for cuisines.
During the first stage, the company dealt with the capture of wild broodstock cobia off the coast of La Guajira, Punta Canoa (Cartagena) and in Rincón del Mar (Sucre).
So far, 22 catches of 'sexually mature males' materialized in order to begin the study and begin the commercial phase, reports El Tiempo.
Meanwhile, during the second stage, they carried out open sea cultivation in Colombian and Caribbean waters to begin the production of fingerlings in laboratories, which were then taken to floating marine cages.
As reported by the company, there are around 140 tonnes of cobia in the cages, which will be targeted at the U.S. market.
This species is considered key to the development of fishing enterprises in Latin America, which in recent years, and by competition from Asian firms, have lost their participation at international level.
According to the head of Antillana, Martín Echavarría, cobia farming is a good option for producers who want to export, since they can obtain good prices.
The company project, located in front of the Tierrabomba Island near Cartagena de Indias, was supported by the National Learning Service (SENA), through the Aquaculture and Fisheries Nautical Center, the Research Center of Aquaculture of Colombia (Ceniacua) and the Center for Education and Recreational Research (Ceiner), of the Rosario Islands.
Also, the initiative was developed with the assistance of researchers from the University of Miami and with the collaboration of the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), the General Maritime Director (Dimar), the Colombian Institute for Rural Development (Incoder) and the University of Jorge Tadeo Lozano.
Cobia is high in omega-3 fatty oils and is fed with molluscs, shrimps, small fish and concentrated foods.
According to statistics from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Taiwan is the largest producer of cobia in the world with an annual production of 4,000 tonnes.
By Analia Murias