Researchers of UCN, specialised in studies on oysters. (Photo: UCN/Stock File/FIS)
French entrepreneurs interested in oyster farming
Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 16:50 (GMT + 9)
A group of French entrepreneurs of the aquaculture sector and of the Government of the Department of Hérault visited the country in order to know about oyster farming.
During their stay in Chile, the mission met with researchers from the School of Marine Sciences of Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN) in order to learn about their experiences in managing this resource.
This visit took place under the collaboration agreement signed in 2008 between the General Council of Hérault and the Regional Government of Coquimbo.
The entrepreneurs and the French authorities toured the facilities of the Central Laboratory of Crops and the Research Centre and Technological Development in Algae (CIDTA) at Guayacan Campus of the UCN.
There they received information on domestic production of oysters, the possible diseases associated with its cultivation and the quality of sea water in the areas where it reproduces.
That visit was joined by the Dean of the Faculty of Marine Sciences, Ernesto Cortés; Cidta director, Mario Edding; Antoine Martinez, officer in charge of International Relations of the Conseil General of Hérault; Christophe Morgo, delegate of the Canton of Meze; Jean-Luc Fabre, director of International Relations of the Conseil General of Hérault; Isabelle Bonnin, responsible for the decentralized cooperation with Chile and Croatia; Paula Días, head of Agropolis scientific cooperation; and Rèmi Roucairol, aquaculture entrepreneur from Thau, the UCN reported.
Bonnin explained that in the past five years the European oysters were attacked by a virus that has caused a decrease in production of over 70 per cent.
The problem arose in the oyster farms located in the lake of Thau and then it spread to other parts of Europe.
Meanwhile, Enrique Juan Illanes, academic and researcher at the Faculty of Marine Sciences of UCN, commented that the different types of oysters in the country -- Chilean and Japanese -- are free of disease.
Also, the professor noted that the Chilean water quality is good and it is certified.
"In Europe, the oyster is being attacked by a virus that is enhanced by a vibrio bacteria, which gets sick and produces mortality of this species, a problem that has not been settled by Europeans," he pointed out.
He added: "The French are in search of new opportunities, such as the interest in and the possibility of setting links, exchanging experiences and areas of cooperation with the university and the business sector."
By Analia Murias