Specimens of yellowtail kingfish -Seriola lalandi - farmed in captivity. (Photo: Fundacion Chile)
Growing interest in yellowtail kingfish farming
Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 02:50 (GMT + 9)
Several salmon farming firms -- Mainstream, Salmones Friosur and Pesquera San José --called Orizon at present -- Aquaculture Investments Society and Aquaculture from the North (Acuinor) and the University of Antofagasta requested permits to develop yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) farming.
According to the data provided by the Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca), a total of 51 grants were sought in regions I, II, III and XV for farming this resource, also known as butterfish, yellowtail tuna or great kingfish.
Currently, the Chilean government aims to boost its development through an appropriate regulatory framework, the newspaper La Tercera reported.
The head of Subpesca, Pablo Galilea, considers "there are many parties interested in the species," among other reasons because of the high demand from the Asian market.
Galilea recalled that the country has been developing the technology to breed yellowtail kingfish in captivity for almost six years, and experiments have been carried out in the sea. However, the breeding activity is still to be encouraged.
Friosur general manager, Joachim Wessel, explained that new opportunities are being studied and stated that, so far, permits have been required in Iquique, Huara and Mejillones.
Meanwhile, Francisco Miranda, Mainstream Chile CEO, says he considers the yellowtail kingfish is "a long-term interest in the North."
"The positive phenomenon that happened to the salmon in the South can be clearly replicated in the North, with this species," the executive states.
Invertec Pesquera Mar de Chiloé (Invermar) participates with Fundación Chile in a project to develop their own technology to produce juvenile specimens in Tongoy.
In addition, the company Acuinor produces and exports fry to the US, Holland, Germany and Italy.
The fish farming activity performed by Acuinor in Caldera can produce about four million juvenile specimens annually, and after the fattening process in recirculation tanks on land about 350 tonnes of yellowtail kingfish can be obtained.
Daniel Elton, Acuinor general manager, estimates that the company could sell about 10,000 tonnes of yellowtail kingfish per year, which would represent about USD 180 million.
And he predicts that "in five years there will be a significant amount."
In the past two years, Subpesca granted authorizations for experimental aims in the research centres, private institutions and universities, "which have been cutting edge, as Fundación Chile once was as to the salmon issue," said Galilea.
The next step is to create a regulatory framework and the conditions "for private entities, from the research that has already been developed, to perform farming activities on land and at sea," he added.
He also stated: "If from now to the end of the year we are able to determine areas susceptible to permits, to prepare the permit allocation system and to solve discrepancies that may appear in the legislation, among other issues, before the end of the government period, we will have businesses developing the farming activity."
In September 2011, the Fund for Promotion of Scientific and Technological Development (Fondef) awarded a grant of CLP 208 million (USD 450,700) to the University of Antofagasta (UA) to study the improvement of yellowtail kingfish seeds.
The vice president of research and post-graduate studies of the UA, Carlos Riquelme, said this initiative aims to develop probiotics to improve the survival of yellowtail kingfish, "so it would not be necessary to use antibiotics when large-scale farming is implemented in the sea ".
- Probiotics to optimize yellowtail kingfish larvae survival
By Analia Murias