Juan Ramón Hernández, councillor of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water of the Canary Islands. (Photo: YouTube/opublicascanarias)
Canary Islands to reactivate aquaculture plan
Friday, September 28, 2012, 16:40 (GMT + 9)
The Canary Islands government intends to reactivate the Aquaculture Management Plan (Proac) in order to contribute to the economic development from a sustainable perspective.
The head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water of the Canaries, Juan Ramon Hernandez, announced that this plan is expected to gather new knowledge on the marine environment, innovative production techniques, the aquaculture development and promotion needs in the Canaries, the official explained.
In addition, the initiative will contribute to the manufacture of products, and the environment and resource conservation and protection.
The plan must go through three phases before approval: document and sustainability report processing; provisional approval by the Land and Environment Planning Commission of the Canary Islands (Cotmac) and the final approval by the Canarian Government, reported EFE agency.
Hernandez expects that Proac will be approved in late 2013, as the deadline.
For the aquaculture sector in the Canary Islands, the implementation of this plan is essential, but it also calls for the elimination or reduction of the tax paid on the purchase of feed, Diario de Avisos reported.
In Tenerife there are about 40 active cages in the south, in Los Cristianos and in Costa Adeje, while the rest that were in Guía de Isora (Abama area and Playa de San Juan) and Los Gigantes (Cliffs), have disappeared, the aquaculture entrepreneur Carlos Rondon said.
Current production of this island is between 1.5 and 2 million kilos of sea bream and bass, which are marketed in the peninsula and on the islands.
According to statistics of the Business Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers (Apromar), aquaculture in the Canaries is falling significantly.
For the entity, this situation is due to two key aspects: the lack of clear rules governing the location of farms (sea cages) and their sustainable management, under Proac; and production costs in small businesses.
Three years ago, Apromar located the Canary Islands as the second autonomous region of Spain as to sea bream and bass farming, behind Valencia, with 33.1 per cent, representing 26.1 per cent of the national total for the Islands.
But of the 29 aquaculture enterprises that existed then, about half have disappeared, according to the sector’s sources.
The Canary Islands government ensured that the main goal now is to create an administrative framework to effectively manage aquaculture within specific areas for its development.
By Analia Murias