Pablo García, Stolt Sea Farm general director in Spain. (Photo: Stolt Sea Farm/FIS)
Cadiz will boast the largest sole farm in Europe
Friday, May 06, 2011, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
The Norwegian company Stolt Sea Farm plans to set up the largest European sole production and hatchery farm in Barbate and Santa María Port, in Cadiz.
Company manager Niels Stolt Nielsen stated that after 13 years of research it was decided that Cadiz meets "all the necessary qualities for sole and turbot hatchery and production”.
The businessman introduced the Soleaqua farm implementation project together with the director of the firm in Spain, Pablo García, and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Clara Aguilera.
Sole production would start on the 20-hectare farm of Retín, recently granted by the Ministry of Defence to Barbate (Cádiz).
Garcia stressed that sole production is "very delicate due to all the required specific conditions”, EFE news agency reported.
Stolt Sea Farm plans to raise and fatten the sole on the premises of the Port Authority of Santa Maria Port, where the fish will remain until reaching their minimum weight for the sale, about 200 grams.
To build the new farm the company will be making an initial investment of EUR 50 million. 120 people will be employed directly; 70 in Barbate and 50 in the port. It is believed that another 200 employees will be working indirectly.
According to Aguilera, this project “will position the province of Cádiz as a world leader in sustainable aquaculture," informed Diario de Cádiz.
Soleaqua will have a production capacity of about 1,400 tonnes of sole annually and 15 million of alevins.
In the first step, the center of Barbate will be installed and it will produce about 1,000 tonnes of sole, with an estimated budget of EUR 29.5 million. Then the alevin hatchery place will be built in Santa Maria Port, which will produce up to 400 tonnes of sole.
Today, aquaculture occupies over 85 square kilometers in Andalusia, along the 1,100 kilometers of coastline.
This sector generates approximately EUR 50 million per year, EUR 9 million in Cadiz, and gathers 112 marine aquaculture companies that directly employ nearly 700 people.
By Analia Murias