Tilapia farm. (Photo: Sagarpa/FIS)
Mexican aquaculture grows at 15pct per year
Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
The annual growth of aquaculture in Mexico is advancing at a fast rate of 15 per cent, compared to 6 per cent recorded by this activity worldwide, informed the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), José Calzada Rovirosa
Accompanied by Governor of the State of Michoacán Silvano Aureoles Conejo, when launching the first stage of the "Strategic Project for the Development of Commercial Tilapia Farming in the Dam Adolfo López Mateos", the Secretary of Agriculture assured that aquaculture is a sustainable, lucrative activity that generates good income to producers.
He added that the country currently produces 155,000 tonnes of tilapia per year, which represents 25 per cent of what is consumed nationally, but the Mexican product has much better quality compared to what is imported from the Asian continent.
Calzada Rovirosa stressed that fishing and aquaculture value in the country amounts to approximately MXP 35,000 million (USD 1835 million), of which almost 50 per cent is for aquaculture, mainly for shrimp and tilapia production, among other products.
Mexico currently imports about 400,000 tonnes of tilapia from countries such as China, Thailand and Vietnam, so it needs to "make more production for large and small companies in order to start replacing imports," said SAGARPA head.
In this regard, he said that SAGARPA is carrying out actions to motivate the small producers that generate this fish practically in a rustic way, but quite effective from the economic point of view. This activity is also being promoted throughout the country in order to increase the production value and meet national demand.
In his speech, Governor Aureoles stressed that Michoacán is located in the third place nationwide in tilapia production, but this project will seek to place this state as the main producer nationwide, given that the Dam Adolfo López Mateos is a great opportunity to take advantage of all its wealth, such as water quality and temperature.
He also stressed that the support of the state government to this project represents a commitment to take advantage of the natural resources that Michoacán has, where the economic income generated will be relevant for the families that live there.
When referring to the water body of the dam Adolfo López Mateos, he stressed that "this is aquaculture paradise" due to the quality of its waters, the area and the producers, who have turned this project into a reality with their effort.
He added that the FAO pointed out that in a few years the animal protein with the highest consumption will be that of the fishing sector and Mexico has the capacity to respond to this challenge.
In turn, Mónica López García, an aquaculture producer, stressed that with the development of this Strategic Project it will be possible to achieve a production of 32,000 tonnes of tilapia per year, in 300 cages that are scheduled to be installed in this water mirror.
"The project will generate 1,500 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs, which will promote the economic and social development of the region, in addition to also considering linking industrial fish processing plants with the special economic zone of Lázaro Cárdenas," he said.