European meeting on Aquaexcel project. (Photo: ULPGC)
Canary Islands aquaculture plans to 'corner the market’ with new species
Thursday, February 09, 2012, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
The aquaculture industry of Canary Islands aims to "corner the market" producing new species of fish and shellfish that the capture fisheries leave aside as a result of strong pressure on some resources.
According to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Fernando Real, depletion of fish stocks becomes a "niche opportunity" for aquaculture to increase the introduction of fish species that until recently were not grown. Flounder, porgy, sea bass, tuna, amberjack, horse mackerel and some molluscs, such as haliotis (abalone) are among the possible candidates.
According to academics, haliotis is a resource promoted in the Canary Islands as their own, and it is being introduced into the local aquaculture because "it is easy to maintain and can be available to consumers", EFE informed.
Real participated in the inauguration of the second annual Aquaexcel project meeting, held in the auditorium of the ULPGC, in which 17 European institutions are involved.
In this regard, the meeting organizer and director of Research and Innovation Policy of the ULPGC, Juan Manuel Afonso, said the institution is leading two groups working in this European project, which began in March 2011 and will end in March 2015, and has a budget of EUR 9.2 million.
Scientists of one of the two teams work in developing a health guide of good practices to implement in the exchange of fish or gametes among the infrastructures involved in the project.
Proponents of this guide are intended to standardize the ideal conditions and recommendations to consider when promoting any kind of exchange in Europe or third countries.
Afonso said that it will help ensure the health of these specimens and to guarantee the prevention and control of disease "is perfectly assured."
Under the Aquaexcel project, mathematical models that facilitate the application of pilot scale experiences in fish production, for example sea bass, into industrial scale, are being developed.
Other experiments try to "tune" physical marking systems for individual recognition of animals, Afonso explained.
The director of Research Policy also proposed the use of an "internal chip" on sea bass and sea bream, to see "the size up to which fish can be marked."
By Analia Murias