Professor German Merino Araneda leads the project to develop Southern bluefin tuna in Chile. (Photo: warren.usyd.edu.au/UCN)
In search of bluefin tuna farming profile
Monday, August 15, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Researchers at the Department of Aquaculture from Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN), through the field of aquaculture-applied engineering, are developing a farming profile of southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) for the north of Chile, with emphasis on the Region of Coquimbo.
Proponents of the initiative are seeking to learn the basic and applied aspects of this resource, also known as southern bluefin tuna, and of tuna in general, under the perspective of sustainable aquaculture.
It is also hoped it is possible to identify competitive gaps that allow the ordering or sequencing of the most important steps for aquaculture development of the southern bluefin tuna and to verify the biological, economic and environmental feasibility for its farming, reported Aqua.
The study is conducted by a team of experts led by Germán Merino Araneda, Associate Professor of UCN Department of Aquaculture and president of the Aquaculture Engineering Society (AES), and by Roberto Vargas, Mario Palma and Helda Jeraldo, engineers in aquaculture.
The science team has the support of specialist in pelagic fish farming Daniel Benetti, director of the Rosenstiel School of Marine Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS), of the University of Miami (United States).
The research was developed as part of the Programme of Diversification of Chilean Aquaculture (PDACH), led since 2009 by InnovaChile -- Production Development Corporation (Corfo) and Fondef.
In recent weeks, as part of the project development, the team of Chilean scientists visited fish farms in Panama, Indonesia and Australia.
The main purpose of these contacts was to generate medium-term and long-term collaboration with researchers studying yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), black tuna (Thunnus atlanticus) and southern bluefin tuna farming.
The first visit took place at the Laboratory of Achotines (Panama), where UCN experts contacted RSMAS researchers to collaborate in the farming process of three-four week after hatching tuna larvae and in the capture of breeding specimens, among other issues.
The Chilean delegation then visited Gondol Institute for Research and Mariculture in Bali, Indonesia.
Later, in Australia, the delegation visited the Australian Centre for Applied Aquatic Research (ACAAR, Perth), the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI, Adelaide), the Centre for Marine Science in Lincoln and CleanSeas.
Merino described the tour as very positive because it was useful "to identify convergence points in the areas of marine fish, molluscs and seaweeds, apart from applied engineering, with parts of the United States, Australia, Bali and UCN."
This will facilitate the settlement of cooperation agreements to "strengthen ties and enhance inter-institutional synergy in aquaculture issues," he added.
By Analia Murias