The construction first phase has finished and the testing period will begin. (Photo: Futuna Blue)
Bluefin tuna farm construction moves forward
Monday, August 29, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The construction of the first centre for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) farming in captivity, located in Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz), is about to end.
The project of the company Futuna Blue España is to become the first farm in the world to develop the complete cycle of the bluefin tuna on an industrial scale, an achievement that will contribute to the preservation of the wild populations of this species.
The first construction phase is completed, and soon the testing period will begin. This initial stage required an investment of EUR 12 million and was focused on egg incubation.
The second construction phase will focus on egg production from adult specimens to complete the life cycle, and will begin before the end of the year, La Voz de Galicia reported.
The company plans to produce 500,000 fry in the early years and obtain annual revenues for EUR 40 million when the plant operates at one hundred percent.
According to the company manager, Miguel Llerena, the fry hatchery is ready. "The plant already has everything that is necessary for the egg hatching phase and for larval development until the tuna weighs 25 grams," he said.
Futuna Blue España aims to produce bluefin tuna fry until it reaches an estimated weight of 25 to 50 grams so as to sell it to other fish farms in Spain, Malta, Greece and Tunisia, which specialize in fattening.
The protocol for testing the facilities built, the technical equipment, electrical and water systems, etc., will take about two or three months and will be under the responsibility of qualified personnel with experience in similar plants that the multinational has in other parts of Europe and Australia.
For the second phase of the project the construction permit still needs obtaining. The petition has already been presented in El Puerto's Urban City Council.
In this sense, the manager said they hope the situation that took place last year does not happen again as they were about to stop the fish farm project due to the permission granting delay.
On that occasion, the Danish and British members of the multinational company raised the possibility of taking the project elsewhere in the Bay despite the investment already made in El Puerto.
Futuna Blue España is a subsidiary of a major Danish holding firm and it is led by experienced specialists in aquaculture projects.
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By Silvina Corniola