Mussel farming in Calbuco. (Photo: Subpesca)
Searching solutions for mussel production
Friday, August 03, 2012, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
The Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) assigned a project designed to analyze the essential components in the growth of mussels to Universidad Austral de Chile, through an assessment of the limiting factors in the development of mussel farming in the Region of Los Lagos.
Currently, the industry faces problems related to production and attachment of mussel seeds. And this situation is expected to worsen in the coming years with the decline of the resource in the region.
In addition, Subpesca reported that it is undergoing the bidding stage for the study 'Determination of the Potential Impact of Cypermethrin and Deltamethrin in the Marine Environment and their Effect on Mytilus chilensis (mussels).'
This research seeks to analyze the use of drugs used in aquaculture in order to evaluate the interaction with the mussel production activity, Subpesca reported.
These two studies come about after several meetings with mussel farmers, in which mussel producers raised the issues faced during the fattening phase of the specimens and due to the low mussel seed attachment in the collectors.
The head of the Subpesca Aquaculture Division, José Miguel Burgos, considers the government does not have enough information about how to fix the problem.
"Although this sector has been developing for over 60 years, the knowledge about the life cycle of this species, its different life phases or stages, ecology, larval drifting, etc., is still scarce in Chile," he pointed out.
"That is why we started this process with a study intended to assess the status of food supply and the critical factors to mussel production in the areas where farming concessions and requests of the Region X are concentrated," he added.
"The data generated from these studies will contribute, through the subsequent stages, to the provision of information and analysis to be applied to future larger projects, required in the operation and management of aquaculture activities. These results will allow us to outline other possible analyzes that need to be incorporated into the sector environmental regulations," Burgos continued explaining.
The first study has a budget of CLP 96 million (USD 198,140) and the second one has CLP 30 million (USD 62,000).
The mussel industry accounts for 4 per cent of the current exports of aquaculture products from Chile.
Out of the total of 3,226 concessions, 1,206 (37.4 per cent) correspond to mussels, and out of them 1,159 (97 per cent) are concessions that are located in the Region X of Los Lagos.
Worldwide, Chile is the fourth largest exporter of mussels, behind China, Thailand and Spain.
- Mussel harvest sharp decline forecast for 2013
By Analia Murias