Chile: The EcoSea Farming Spa consortium will begin the prototype stage at Invermar’s Traiguén 2 center, located in Achao, to develop ocean aquaculture in the country.

By Jonathan Garcés (translation from original article:

Two technological consortiums presented yesterday the progress of their ocean aquaculture projects in the framework of the III Aquaculture Summit organized by Corfo, whose investments reach $ 22 billion CLP for an execution of six years, initially experimental.

One of these consortiums is EcoSea Farming Spa, in a project that began in June 2018, within the Technological Development Program for Ocean Aquaculture. According to what was exposed in Corfo’s conference by its R&D manager, who is also Project Leader of Fraunhofer Chile Research, Álex Brown; they are currently developing their first stage of execution.

In this first stage, they are building the first 40 meter diameter submersible cage r for their prototyping unit, which is located in the town of Achao, in Invermar’s Traiguén 2 center, site  classified as “half energy”. “It will be ready in 20 days and will be the largest in the world, with an extension of 40×12 meters and a capacity of 18,400 m3, for 50,000 smolt and 312 tons,” said the executive.

Then, from 2022, the piloting process will begin by expanding the submersible cage raft to an extension of 70×15 meters and with a capacity of 74 thousand m3, for 279 thousand smolt and about 1,300 tons, in an exposed area, of “high energy”, where Subpesca defines, “for which you do not need a suitable area (AAA), if so decided,” Brown said.

This project, managed by EcoSea Farming Spa, is working with Sitecna on pontoons, with Aex Group for mooring technologies, Innovex for remote control and Novatech for mortality management.

Also, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso supports the initiative in terms of human capital, and Fraunhofer Research Chile in seeking the best regulatory and environmental conditions. Subpesca and Sernapesca are also part of the project.

Benefits and Challenges

 Meanwhile, the R&D manager of Ecosea Farming Spa exhibited the benefits of ocean aquaculture. “It is a competitive solution for the creation of new cultivation areas in the country, it is possible to develop the activity far from vulnerable or disputed zones, diminishing social pressures, also the site is not affected by the swaying of the tides and it is presumed a lesser use of therapeutic products and a greater capacity of dispersion of residues”.

While among the challenges of ocean aquaculture in Chile are “the few competitive off shore projects, together with the fact that there are no ocean pontoons and the low existence of anchorage for these initiatives. In terms of regulation, the state requires environmental information, so we need Offshore sites (AAA), and should allow activity up to 200 maritime miles,” Brown said.