TRANSFORMING THE AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY
Projections made by FAO show that feeding a global population of 9.1 billion people by 2050 will require increasing global food production in approximately 70% between 2005/07 and 2050.
In light of this situation, seafood consumption and aquaculture are hence positioned as two main agents to address the deficit that will be generated by the growing demand for healthy proteins. Seafood properties are unique in terms of their benefits to human health.
On the other hand, generating food in a sustainable way is an imperative that finds in aquaculture the lowest carbon footprint system for animal protein production.
The aquaculture industry in Chile and in the world has a great potential. It is estimated that by 2030, over 60% of all fish for human consumption will be provided by aquaculture (GAA, Global Aquaculture Alliance). To comply with that projection, health, nutritional, productive, and environmental challenges will need to be faced.
Fundación Chile has over 40 years’ experience in developing aquaculture technologies with human capital specialized in the area and with technological capacities already installed. We promoted the beginning of Chilean commercial aquaculture in the early 80’s and we now continue with the task of strengthening this industry.
Based on an open innovation model that allows us to articulate different capacities, we focus on both facing the salmon farming challenges as well as those represented by the diversification in aquaculture. We also aspire to decrease the current geographic concentration of production.
A score of candidate species for harvesting have been part of Fundación Chile’s R & D history in this sector with over fifty associated projects based on the work performed by its two aquaculture centers.
SEA BASS PROGRAM
The national aquaculture industry has been mainly focused on salmon. In order to diversify the Chilean aquaculture the Sea Bass Program was created ten years ago, co-financed by Corfo and by private enterprises.
Fundación Chile discovered in the Sea bass (Cilus gilberti) an opportunity to develop this species commercially in a large part of the north of the country, thus incorporating this territory into the nation’s aquaculture activities.
This species has great potential and biological characteristics to be developed in that area. Iquique and Tongoy are the strategic locations for this innovation and development program where different farming systems are tested simultaneously; an experimentation phase that will be prolonged until 2022, the year expected to launch it commercially on the market.
During 2019 the investment of $400 million committed by the company Friosur to the Corvina program was announced, with which the capacity of the breeders and genetic material for availability of juveniles in all seasons of the year will be enhanced.
Fundación Chile produces juvenile croaker at the Tongoy aquaculture center.
They are transferred to the cultivation facilities of the Arturo Prat University in Iquique, where they undergo the fattening process.
Define the most efficient technology to reach commercial size. Two systems are being tested: fattening in cage rafts in the sea (Iquique) and in onshore ponds with recirculation of water (Tongoy).
The Sea Bass Program is developed by Fundación Chile and CORFO. It also counts with the participation of Universidad Arturo Prat, Cordunap, Instituto Almirante Carlos Condell, in addition to companies in the aquaculture industry such as ADL Diagnostic Chile, Oxzo, Pesquera Friosur, and Ewos Chile Alimentos.
The Tongoy Aquaculture Center
Located in the Region of Coquimbo, this Center has been operating for four decades pioneering in shellfish aquaculture. It has headed projects related to fishes such as the yellow tail and the sea bass, becoming an important actor in the development of this activity in the country’s northern region. It plays a vital role in the diversification of national aquaculture in terms of species and territories.
Cultimar is a FCh’s related subsidiary company; it is one of the main shellfish hatcheries in Latin America currently producing Japanese oyster seeds and northern scallops.
AquaPacífico is an Aquaculture Innovation Site that seeks to become a national and international beacon of sustainability and diversification in aquaculture. It impels the growth of this industry in the country’s far north with cutting-edge technological research and development, ensuring a smooth transfer towards the productive sector.
It seeks to strengthen the scientific-technological capacity in the area, promoting the development of commercial interest products such as Atlantic pomfret or Ray’s bream, sea bass, abalone, clams and river shrimp, among others. This Center is the result of a linkage between the Universidad Católica del Norte and Fundación Chile’s individual capacities, along the support from Corfo.
The Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation maintains a strategic alliance with Fundación Chile. Fraunhofer also participates in Aquadvise. Said alliance seeks to tackle the challenges faced by aquaculture in Chile in order to create a real impact and bring about a substantial change in the country’s aquaculture activities.
It focuses on aquaculture health including salmons and other species. It also focuses in bettering the salmonids aquaculture productivity processes to obtain better results; and last but not least, it also focuses in the industry’s sustainability hence reducing its environmental impact.
Salmofood acquires Quillaipe Experimental Center from Fundación Chile
Fundación Chile puts an end to more than two decades of research and innovative developments in aquaculture in the south of our country, which were made possible by the Quillaipe Experimental Center and its business unit Aquadvise. The Quillaipe Center, strategically located in Puerto Montt, has consolidated itself as a research and development center at the service of the aquaculture industry in the Los Lagos region. During this time projects linked to the sustainability of salmon farming were combined with those aimed at the cultivation of molluscs and cold water fish.
This important pole of research and development at the service of the aquaculture industry will continue to operate through Vitapro Chile and its brand Salmofood, a company expert in nutritional solutions for the sector. In this way, Fundación Chile, fulfills its first interest of bequeathing the capacities and impact in the territory.