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Artisanal fishermen can start bioremediation project with seaweed

Caleta El Manzano, Quintero. (Photo: Subpesca)

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Friday, May 08, 2015, 22:00 (GMT + 9)

The Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) has submitted the three resolutions to the leaders of Caletas Unidas of Bay of Quintero authorizing management action with the kelp (Macrocystis spp.), in three management areas. The objective of this measure is to initiate a bioremediation process in the area by farming/restocking this brown seaweed.
The project has been promoted by the Council for the environmental and social recovery of the communities of Quintero and Puchuncaví, but to obtain financing it was necessary to submit the resolutions that have just been submitted to SUBPESCA.
Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture Raul Súnico pointed out that this project is fully aligned with the initiatives launched by the government in connection to promoting seaweed farming, supporting the recovery of the Bay of Quintero and encouraging productive diversification.
"We are currently developing the most expensive research project on pollution that we have implemented, and just to know what the impact of the spill on the bay that occurred in September 2014 was. In addition, recently the House of Representatives approved by 102 votes in favour the proposed bonus for seaweed culture and repopulation. Currently, Chile exports more seaweed than fly jumbo squid and hake together and the way to make this activity sustainable is by farming it," explained the authority.
For his part, the President of the cove El Manzano and of Caletas Unidas of the Bay of Quintero, Gerardo Muñoz, was very grateful for the submitted resolution.
"To us this step is very important, since it will allow us to develop initiative to lower the level of heavy metals in our operation areas. In addition, it will be an area of study and it will give us the opportunity to train fishermen for them to develop this activity. We want to provide a remedy to the bay, not the last rites."
Bioremediation can be developed through actions such as the culture and/or repopulation of a type of seaweed, -- in this case kelp --, which tolerate and accumulate heavy metals, making it possible to remove these components from the bay.

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