Chile is bringing its expertise in mariculture to work with Costa Rican officials and academics on a collaborative project to enhance mariculture – the cultivation of marine organisms in the open ocean or seawater tanks – in Costa Rican waters.
The initiative is comprised of members of the Faculty of Marine Sciences at the Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) and officials from the Chile’s Agencia de Cooperación Internacional, (AGCI), as well as scientists from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.
According to Pedro Toledo, director of the Department of Aquaculture of UCN, Costa Rica “has qualified human capital to develop aquaculture,” but the Chilean contingent will bring their “training in genetics, nutrition and disease control of molluscs and fish as well as engineering design” to the Central American nation.
With research having already began on the project to “strengthen the research, production, marketing and added-value of molluscs and fish of interest to Costa Rica,” the UCN says it will start implementing its proposals over a three year period, beginning in 2013.
Chilean experts made an initial visit to Costa Rica last month, surveying the needs of local aquaculturists in the region of Puntarenas.
“What is important to this bilateral cooperation is that Chile, as a country, will help mariculture become a productive activity in Costa Rica,” said Toledo. “And for us, as a unit, it gives us a sense of pride to be able to contribute to this task from our experience and technical capacity, as we have done previously in Cuba and Colombia.”
Meanwhile, a delegation of Costa Rican scientists will visit the UCN in Coquimbo in October to begin developing short, medium and long term strategic plans, with a focus on training academic and technical staff at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.