By Chris Dove, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain
Published on 10 December, 2012
Signaling a timely stimulus to the Andalusian economy, Cultivos Piscícolas Marinos (CUPIMAR) is investing EUR 11.8 million (USD 15.2 million) in sea bass and gilthead bream production, and stepping up sole production with a EUR 4.7 million (USD 6 million) grant from Andalucía regional government.
Supported by the 2007-2013 European Fisheries Fund marine aquaculture development program, the public-private funding package will double the Cádiz company’s production while creating 16 new jobs at their San José del Palmar salt water plant in Puerto Real.
A key component of the program is intensive sole breeding — the first time the region has adopted such a strategy for the species.
Described as an intensive cultivation vessel, a ship will be built with water tanks in the form of breeding and fattening trays, an innovation before which intensive cultivation was only possible in estuaries.
Sole, sea bass and gilthead bream production in the new installations will increase from 429 metric tons (MT) annually to 900 MT.
The project will additionally fund a feed store, new machinery, the conversion of a salting warehouse into offices, and improving access points and wastewater treatments.
Commercial Director Jorge Rosa Violán explained: “After a laborious research, development and innovation process, CUPIMAR has developed a highly technical sole production process in the form of controlled facilities, taking advantage of the resources provided by the Bay of Cádiz.
“This is the result of close collaboration between CUPIMAR and the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Fishing, Food and Organic Production (IFAPA, a public company of the Andalusian government).
“This project also involved Aquacría Arousa (in Cambados), a key company experienced in advanced sole production based on state-of-the-art water recirculation technology, acquired by CUPIMAR to perfect commercial fattening.
“Our investment is estimated at over EUR 16 million (USD 20.6 million), spread between the CUPIMAR hatchery (in San Fernando) and facilities in Puerto Real and Cambados.
“Production at these facilities is estimated at 1,000 MT per year from the end of 2013. This is with increased gilthead bream and sea bass production estimated at 300/400 MT annually. CUPIMAR’s investment, supported by the Junta de Andalucía and funds from the European Community, opens a door of hope for the ailing economic situation in the Bay of Cádiz, which needs these types of facilities to create wealth and new jobs.”