Chile’s fishing industry boosted by agreement with heavyweight Norway

A memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries will address fisheries, covering the fields of research, science and technology in aquaculture.

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The Chilean fishing industry is set to thrive from an MOU signed with fishing giant Norway and increased interest from Peruvian companies in its aquaculture sector.

Chile, the world’s second largest producer of trout and salmon behind Norway, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Scandinavian nation to share knowledge and experience in aquaculture and fisheries management.

“Norway and Chile are major exporters of salmon in the world and therefore all the experience they have accumulated around the activity can be transferred” said Pablo Galilea, subsecretariat of Fisheries of Chile, in a news release on the Government’s website.

“That means that all the scientific knowledge, research and development are elements that will help us build the foundations for what aquaculture will be in the future.”

The meeting was held in October at Hotel Patagonia in the lakes district city of Puerto Montt, during Aqua Sur 2010, the Southern hemisphere’s most important conference on aquaculture – the farming of fish and other aquatic organisms. Around 600 suppliers from 40 countries attended the event to show off their machinery, equipment and solutions.

Chile is one of the world leaders in farming of marine species and its most-produced species include the Pacific oyster, clam, salmon and red abalone.

About 60 percent of seafood exported from Chile in 2009 was from the aquaculture industry, with the remaining 40 percent coming from wild sources, reported the website of Fish Information and Services, a source of seafood industry information.

For salmon, Chile’s third-largest export, total exports were more than US$2.4 billion in 2008, according to data from InvestChile, a growth of 6.4 percent.

Chile’s salmon industry is in excellent health, SalmonChile’s President Cesar Barros said this month at a forum on the industry held in Puerto Varas, a city in Chile’s south near Puerto Montt.

Barros said that 44 health measures adopted into law has helped the sector to “raise productivity, reduce mortality and increase crop yields,”  Fish Information & Services reported.

Meanwhile the head of the Subsecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) of Chile, Pablo Galilea, announced that numerous large Peruvian fishing companies are interested in investing in Chilean aquaculture.  The subsecretary said Chile intends to create good conditions for Peruvian companies to invest in aquaculture in northern Chile, added that he believes there has been a strengthening of fishing relations between the countries.

“The future of the sea is in aquaculture, which is why we can see with that there is more interest from Peruvian companies in entering this industry in Chile, especially in the north of the country,” Galilea was quoted saying on Fish Information and Services.