Cobia farming, Rachycentron canadum. (Photo: StockFile)
Power plant uses its waters to raise cobia
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
Since last December the power generating company E-CL has been working on farming cobia (Rachycentron canadum) from eggs brought from the United States, in the Power Plant Mejillones (CTM).
This is an innovative experience, as the company uses the same water the power plant uses to cool its generating process for its water aquaculture operations.
According to the veterinarian doctor Daniel Nieto, the project manager, the first cobia eggs have already shown a strong development, with a negative mortality.
"There is no fish mortality and fish have grown dramatically," ensures the expert.
To develop the project Cobia from Atacama Desert a total of USD 1.5 million was invested.
The firm E-CL has 18 ponds crammed with cobia, a gourmet species offering high commercial value especially if it comes from a fish farm.
The cobia is a fish of tropical waters that for the first time in the world has been farmed in pools of recirculating water from the cooling process of power generation units.
"This is an example of entrepreneurship and private support of something new," states the mayor of Mejillones, Marcelino Carvajal.
"In addition, four former fishers from the town have been given jobs and in the future it could be an important source of work and retraining," he adds.
Meanwhile, Lodevijk Werdeyen, E-CL general manager, emphasized that this initiative puts an end to the myth that the waters returning from a thermal plant are not appropriate to life or become contaminated before reaching the sea.
"This water has no additives or contaminants, it is only seawater used in pure sustainability," stated the executive.
It is anticipated that the study phase of growth finishes during the first quarter of 2014.
At present, the scientists involved in the initiative are focused on ensuring the healthy full development of the specimens, informed the Municipality of Mejillones.
"We are evaluating various options to replicate the model and contribute for this business to enhance the local fishermen trade and the community given the need to process the product before entering the market," added Verdeyen.
The firm E-CL estimates that each kilogram of cobia fillets could be sold for USD 11.
By Analia Murias