The pilot project involves a sustainable approach to farm tilapias and sturgeons. (Photo: Stock File/Breen/FIS)
Sustainable aquaculture pioneer project
Thursday, December 01, 2011, 04:40 (GMT + 9)
A Basque company will begin to develop a sustainable aquaculture pilot project that ensures it is a pioneer in the world. In addition to producing tilapia and sturgeon, it will ecologically reuse the water used.
Since last year in Hondarribia those responsible for the company Breen have been working on a project focusing on "sustainable water management along with energy sustainability" for the comprehensive production of fish, vegetables and fruit, Diario Vasco reported.
For the development of this initiative, its proponents had the support of the Provincial Council, SPRI, the Fisheries Department of the Basque Government, of Endanea, of Bidasoa Activa, the City Council and Prospektiker.
Fernando Susaeta, a member of the company, explains that production in Hondarribia is circular and almost everything is used: tilapias live in water that is reused for growing vegetables and fruit, and waste is used to feed sturgeons.
In addition, the water that is not purified becomes mud from which are fed the worms that will become food for tilapia.
"We know some things that are being done but with these features, in such a complete and sustainable way as we work, there is nothing similar," said Iñaki Mugika, another one of the project managers, according to Noticias de Gipuzkoa.
With regard to the limited development that aquaculture has shown in the Basque Country, Mugika said that "institutions are beginning to bet on this sector."
He also recognized that to carry out this initiative they had numerous institutional aids.
"This centre we have opened is a project, a prototype of a year; a time when we must prove that what we do is cost effective and that it works for investors to support us. This is a completely sustainable approach," the businessperson highlighted.
He also indicated that tilapias will be fed with a fully vegetable feed that they have developed.
When tilapias reach harvest size, they can be filleted and sold for human consumption. The extra parts -- heads, guts and bones -- will be used to make fishmeal for feeding sturgeons, the second kind of fish they plan to farm.
"So far the fish have been fed with fishmeal from fish coming out of the sea. We want to stop the dependence on the sea. We do not want to take out fish from the sea to feed other fish that are product of aquaculture," Mugika stressed out.
By Analia Murias