Tuna aquaculture. (Photo: FutunaBlue/FIS)
First farmed bluefin tuna fingerling farm ever to be built
Monday, May 14, 2012, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
The South Atlantic coastal aquaculture sector in Andalusia (Huelva-Cadiz) is addressing the launch of the first farm in the world dedicated specifically to the production of juvenile bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). This was expressed by the president of the Association of Marine Aquaculture Firms in Andalusia (Asema), Antonio Concepción.
This important project is being developed experimentally in El Puerto de Santa Maria, a town in Cadiz. In these facilities the first fingerlings of this species have already been successfully raised by the company Futuna Blue España SL.
As soon as the tuna specimens acquire a certain weight, they will be fattened in large cages in the sea.
For Concepción, breeding and the fattening early stages of the specimens in captivity is the "most complicated" process, Huelva Información reported.
From this initiative, it is expected that aquaculture entrepreneurs in the region benefit from this profitable activity because bluefin tuna is a species that is subjected to "really drastic catch quotas" and it is "highly valued" by consumers, said the entrepreneur.
If the cages for fattening or greasing bluefin tuna reached Huelva, "it would still be necessary to make an effort to avoid the problems associated with high exposure of our coastline to the effects of storms," continued the leader within the South Atlantic Coastal Aquaculture Meetings IV to be held in Cartaya.
Concepción commented in 2010 the province produced about 1,500 tonnes of fish annually, mainly of sea bream and sea bass, of the 8,000 tonnes that were obtained in all Andalusia.
At present in this Spanish province there are about 400 hectares devoted to this activity apart from a dozen companies out of a total of 50 companies based in Andalusia.
These firms generate between 150 and 170 direct jobs and two times that figure of indirect jobs in Huelva.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of R&D&T of the Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (Ifapa), Víctor Ortiz, said that "the future of the sector is really positive despite the difficult times." For Ortiz, it is necessary to "technically solve production problems."
- Bluefin tuna farm awaiting authorization to continue ambitious project
By Analia Murias