Palm ruff fry farming in a floating cage located in Coquimbo. (Photo. Universidad Católica del Norte)
Farming the first palm ruff fry
Thursday, May 17, 2012, 16:20 (GMT + 9)
A team of scientists at the Fish Culture Laboratory of the Faculty of Marine Sciences of Universidad Catolica del Norte on Tuesday began farming the first 1,400 fry specimens of palm ruff (Seriolella violacea) in a cage located in the Campus Guayacan, owned by the educational institution in Coquimbo.
This farming process is developed in the framework of the second part of a project by the Promotion Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (Fondef), which aims to determine the management and growth conditions of the species in cages, comparatively with the fattening process of another group of the same species in ponds on land.
The specimens have an average size of 350 grams and the cage measures 7 x 7 x 5 metres.
According to the director, Alfonso Silva, "it is a unique experience in the country with palm ruff, which together with the contribution to the diversification and development of marine fish farming in Chile, is part of the project productive commitments."
These commitments are "the final production of a total of 12,000 5-10 gram fry of palm ruff, with part of which different farming and fattening experiences in cages and in ponds were developed until reaching a market size and also the first market tests of the species were carried out," Silva added.
This project is supported by Biomar, one of the main firms supplying fish food worldwide; by Distrimar SA, the company that will conduct the testing market; and by Cultivos Marinos Purpuratus, a company that is particularly interested in the final productive business.
The palm ruff belongs to the group of the so-called blue fish and has suitable characteristics for aquaculture, given its rapid growth, good market and ease adaptation process.
"In addition, this species is spontaneously reproduced in captivity, as it has been shown in the first part of our project," Silva noted.
Although this fish is in demand in several markets, the most traditional ones are Japan, China, Spain and Portugal.
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By Analia Murias