California spiny lobster. (Photo: inapesca.gob.mx)
Significant progress reported in spiny lobster farming
Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 02:50 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca) managed to develop biotechnology for farming California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus).
It is hoped that this initiative will help boost production and competitiveness of this crustacean with high commercial value, which is produced mainly in the west coast of the peninsula of Baja California.
Experts from the Regional Centre for Fisheries Research (CRIP) of Inapesca in La Paz, Southern Baja California, are developing studies on the settlement of this crustacean in its postlarval and juvenile phases.
The scientists hope to assess the availability of fattening seeds in the coastal zone and its potential impacts on the wild population.
After several years of experiments, the Directorate General of Aquaculture Research of the Institute is moving ahead with this project designed to evaluate the aquaculure potential of the crustacean and to develop biotechnology for farming in order to increase production.
Those researchers participating in the initiative ensure that significant progress was made, as the California spiny lobster increased its growth rate, according to the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca).
Furthermore, farming tests were implemented based on the fattening of puerulus (organisms in pre-juvenile phase) and juvenile specimens in local cooperative laboratories for fish production.
The results of these initiatives are considered encouraging.
The experimental procedure begins with the capture of postlarvae, which eight months later are placed in tanks or basins for performing feedlot trials. Later, their growth and survival in captivity is assessed under a natural diet based on native mollusc and fish meat.
Upon completion of the studies in the course of this year, the project transfer to an experimental farm for pilot farming will be initiated.
The idea is that in the medium term, biotechnology can be transferred to productive organizations.
In the production area of the peninsula of Baja California in the 2011-2012 fishing season around 2,500 tonnes of lobster were caught while the average taken between 2004 and 2010 was 1,800 tonnes.
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By Analia Murias