The new techniques include the use of an artificial egg incubator for reproductive female octopuses. (Photo: UNAM)
Octopus raised in captivity
Monday, August 29, 2011, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG) announced the start of the first pilot project for octopus production in captivity through an agreement with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Deputy Minister of Livestock, Juan Carlos Ordóñez, stressed that it will no longer be necessary to extract the small mollusc from the sea, since it will be able to be raised until it reaches the target size for export without harming the environment.
SAG officials will meet on 1 September with representatives of the delegations of Fisheries from the rest of Central America to introduce the new octopus raising technique.
This is an innovative aquaculture technique, which was created last year by the scientist Carlos Rosas, from UNAM.
This Mexican University owns the patent for the mollusc production in captivity and through an agreement with SAG, will donate the patent to the country.
Earlier this year, Mexican technicians travelled to Honduras to train national experts in the management of this new production technology that helps control the number of octopuses, their size and weight, according to market demands.
Thus, Honduras seeks to lead, in Central America, the production of a species that offers high international demand with an annual 15 per cent increase.
In this sense, Ordoñez said that this sector has been one of the fastest growing ones in recent years. He stressed that the global demand for octopus is about 350,000 tonnes and that the value of this product is around USD 4,000 a ton, generating an amount of foreign exchange income that enters the country.
So far, the octopus has only been produced using traditional or natural techniques. Now with this new technology it will be able to meet high demand especially in regions where there are quite a good number of producers engaged in sea diving.
The idea is that divers can begin specializing so as to engage in octopus production and streamline its exploitation.
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By Silvina Corniola