Today there is a significant shortage of Japanese oyster seeds in the world, given that different diseases have severely affected the supply of seeds for cultivation throughout the world. Additionally to this, there is acidification of the seas in the North American continent, which have affected the survival and seed production of Pacific oyster seeds.
However, Chile is exempted from these features and has strengthened its role as a country farmer, through the work of our Foundation’s subsidiary named Cultimar, Tongoy Sea Harvest, which seeks to increase the export of healthy oyster seeds to international markets in North America.
The project developed by Fundación Chile seeks to strengthen the export of Japanese oyster seeds to new markets such as Canada, in order to position our country as one of the major stakeholders in the aquaculture world. Furthermore, the initiative also manages to maintain activity with small farmers in order to boost domestic market.
The Executive Director of Tongoy Center of Fundación Chile, Axel Klimpel, notes “Aquaculture diversification in Chile is one of the programs of Fundación Chile. The cultivation of the Japanese oyster presents excellent opportunities to increase the basket of products made ??in Chile. The subsidiary of Fundación Chile called Cultimar, has positioned itself as a major stakeholder in the supply of oyster seeds worldwide and it is internationally recognized for its quality both productive and health. “
On the other hand, The Executive Director of BCSGA, Roberta Stevenson, explains “The seafood industry in British Columbia has been unable to access sufficient oyster seeds during the past five years, since oyster beds of the United States have experienced serious problems of acidification in the oceans.” “The access to this resource, provided by Fundación Chile, will put our industry in a good economic position, due to we currently produce US$ 32 million oysters per year and our coastline is 47 thousand kilometers, therefore, the growth opportunities are endless. “
The Japanese oyster seeds, whose scientific name is Crassostrea gigas, are small mollusks produced from oyster breeding, which are bred and supplied with sizes of 3-4 mm. The seed is transported by plane from Tongoy and after a journey of about 52 hours gets to its destination in the Canadian waters of British Columbia. The seeds will be grown by Canadian farmers who harvest it to market size, that is to say, from 25 oysters per kilo, which are for the domestic market in Canada. In addition, the export income results in US$ 330 thousand for 2014 and there are prospects of tripling this value to 2015.