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Construction of first offshore fish farm begins

Circular cage for mariculture. (Photo: OceanFarm)

Click on the flag for more information about EcuadorECUADOR
Thursday, February 05, 2015, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
OceanFarm S.A. has begun the construction of the first cages for fish production at sea that will be placed in Ecuador waters near the coast of Jaramijo.
The legal representative of OceanFarm, Samir Kuri, verified together with Deputy Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries(Magap), Pilar Proaño, the transfer of materials - delivered by Industrias Chilenas de Alambre (Inchalam S.A.) - to the installation site.
The concession area covers an area of 35.78 hectares, 9.5 miles off the coast of Jaramijo.
Kuri said the site was selected after evaluating several sites regarding the temperature, wave size, direction of wind currents and depths conducive for growing cobia fingerlings, Magap reported.
"In a few days we will begin the anchor installation stage. Subsequently the cages will be set and finally we’ll stock the first 100,000 cobia fingerlings. In eight months we’ll start harvesting the first fish," said the legal representative of the company, which is a leader in the development of mariculture in Ecuador.
This new venture will create new jobs, increase productivity and exports, and create value added in domestic production.
Mariculture is being already developed in Chile, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Norway, United States, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand with success, and several species, such as salmon, seaweed and almaco jack, among others are cultivated.
Deputy minister Proaño stressed that this is the beginning of a transformation process of the productive matrix aimed at strengthening Ecuadorian fisheries and aquaculture sector.
"Chilean experts are here to support this Ecuadorian project and we are confident that mariculture will be successful and we’ll build capacity to develop these productive enterprises," she said.
Meanwhile, Diego Alonso, Inchalam representative, emphasized the company’s experience of over 20 years in Chile regarding salmon farming, and said that in addition to installing the circular cages, they would also provide assistance in the preparation of lines and handling topics, among others.
Kuri said the cobia live in small shoals, which is why catches worldwide are relatively low.
Its fast growth, adding to its white flesh and nice texture, and high nutritional value, make this fish an interesting species for aquaculture.

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