CHILE : Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) launched a technology transfer program to train artisanal fishermen from the Coquimbo region, with support from the Sub-secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) and financed by the Corporation for the Promotion of Production (Corfo).
The program, whose objective is that regional fishermen acquire knowledge for farming the palm ruff (Seriolella violacea), is a pioneering initiative in Chile, since, although there are similar experiences carried out by private companies and the scientific-academic sector, it is the first time that in a management area native fish will be farmed under the care and maintenance of the same artisanal fishermen, advised by a team of professionals of the UCN.
Héctor Flores, academic of the Department of Aquaculture of the UCN and director of the project, explained that "as a university we have developed technological packages for farming sole and palm ruff, and we use this knowledge to train fishermen so that they learn that there is a methodology for farming. Here a change of paradigm is required, a cultural change that needs time".
Gregorio Rodríguez, CORFO regional director, said that the aim is to improve the use of the coastline and to optimize the productive capacities of artisanal fishing, a fundamental and traditional activity for the region.
The organizations that participate in the program include Cooperativa de Pescadores Artesanales of Los Vilos, who will have their "Ñagué" management area for the installation of a cage raft as a learning platform; the Association of Artisanal Fishermen of Tongoy and Cooperativa Pesquera y Comercializadora Los Choros.
During the ceremony, which was the symbolic release of the first implementation of experimental aquaculture of native fish in management areas in Chile, Luis Alberto Arjona, seremi of Economy, Development and Tourism of Coquimbo Region, concluded that "we are for sustainable fishing, which can be maintained over time. Nowadays the fishing coves through the new law are going to be true business units, on the side of aquaculture, tourism and gastronomy. And obviously, in capture fishing we are aiming for the pressure on resources not to be so high, but to give it a greater added value".