The Chilean government has just provided CLP 50 million (USD 99,400) to fund the Northern scallop production between 2013 and 2014. This money will be helpful to fund the final phase of the project that will allow the Association of Fishermen of Tongoy to ensure production of this mollusc.
This financial support, granted by the head of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), Pablo Galilea, and the Fisheries zonal director of Regions III and IV, Andres Hoyl, is intended to reinvigorate the aquaculture sector in the Region of Coquimbo.
In this regard, Galilea recalled that the industry had to face the global economic crisis and the Peruvian scallop aggressive entry into the international market.
As a result of these circumstances, several farms in the area were closed.
In addition, mussel producers had to face the tides that occurred in March 2011 because of the tsunami that struck Japan.
Tongoy area was severely affected, especially the farms belonging to the fishermen's association, Subpesca reported.
In order to improve the situation of the sector, the Fisheries Administration Fund (FAP) approved the funding granted to the Association of Fishermen of Tongoy for the project 'Recovery Plan of the Northern Scallop aquaculture for the Professional Association of Divers, Fishermen and Related Artisanal Activities in Tongoy, Coquimbo Region.'
The contribution granted, amounting to CLP 100 million (USD 198,800), has made it possible to strengthen the scallop seed collection, which maintained the production of 2013 and 2014.
"In addition, in order to supplement this initial injection of resources and fulfill the complete cycle of crop development, we have also funded the acquisition of fine farming trays, where the seed growth process takes place," said Galilea.
The seeds are then transferred into lanterns, until they reach the commercial size to enable them to comply with the resource production cycle.
At this time, the Trade Association is positioned as one of the best examples nationally in the enterprise development in the aquaculture area.
It is also a pioneer in the Northern scallop aquaculture development in the country and achieved the consolidation of more than 10 artisanal fishermen's companies.
According to the latest Report on the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector issued by Subpesca, Northern scallop harvest levels totalled 1,400 tonnes up to April 2013, representing 29.8 per cent less than in the same period in 2012.
The resource was harvested between the regions of Coquimbo and Atacama, with 793 and 657 tonnes, respectively.
"We are confident that this investment makes it possible for this important productive activity to recover and reach those levels achieved in previous years," concluded Galilea.
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