Tuna aquaculture facilities under construction in Murcia. (Photo: IEO)
IEO builds plant for bluefin tuna domestication
Wednesday, February 01, 2012, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
With an investment of EUR 6 million, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) began building in Cartagena, Murcia, an aquaculture plant to breed bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus).
The project aims to advance in the research aimed at the "domestication" of this tuna in four large tanks of 7,000 cubic meters capacity.
These tanks have the capacity to house up to 150 kilograms specimens, said the IEO.
The project is funded 70% by ERDF European funds and the remainder by the IEO.
The plant will be installed on land provided by the Hydrographic Confederation of the Segura River in Isla Plana, Cartagena.
"The investigations that are being developed between different institutions in the Region of Murcia on bluefin tuna cultivation will continue in this facility. They have enabled us to lead this research at European level", said Aurelio Ortega, IEO researcher and project leader.
"Now, with this groundbreaking new facility, which will intensify investigations, this privileged position will be strengthened", said Ortega.
The spawning from these fish will be transferred to crop plants that the IEO has in Mazarron, located less than a mile from the new facility.
In addition, an agreement between the IEO and the company Aquamed will make possible the use of the network for supply and discharge of Valdelentisco desalination plant, "which will result in the optimization of available economic resources", IEO went on.
The construction management is provided by the engineering firm Ayesa and is being built by Tragsa, which foresees its completion by the end of 2012.
The IEO has nine coastal oceanographic centres, five aquaculture plants for experimentation, twelve tide gauge stations, a receiving station for satellite imagery and a fleet of seven oceanographic ships, among which the Cornide de Saavedra and Ramon Margalef stand out.
By Analia Murias