Acuinuga. Acuicultura y Nutrición de Galicia


24-08-15 |

Devil's seed

Abanqueiro, Camariñas, Carril, Noia, Punta Quilma, O recent years many hatcheries and nurseries for the production of bivalve seed in Galicia have been publicly and generously funded but are now closed, inactive or in decay. The final outcome has been the lack of local production of shellfish seed. This coincides with low levels of natural productivity in beaches and parks, and recurrent episodes of unexplained mass mortalities of clams, cockles, oysters and other molluscs of commercial interest. The almost absolute dependence for seed from third countries not only leaves us in a vulnerable position both economically and biologically, by favouring the introduction of unknown bacteria, viruses and parasites in our shores. It also represents the failure of the regional strategy for self-sufficiency in mollusk seed, the primary basis for shellfish production and a main engine of economic activity occupying dozens of vessels and thousands of men and women already suffering from a harsh labour market.

While responsibilities in this field are often multiple and shared,  severe mismanagement, absence of business approach, inability to solve complex technical problems, weak linkage between academy, institutions and the real economy, and lack of technical support or monitoring programs designed to ensure their success can be mentioned as the main culprits. Whatever the analysis, it seems difficult to justify at present the allocation of precious public resources in subsidies for the purchase of imported seed, when the infrastructures to produce it locally lay underused, if not abandoned, in our shores.

In light of new technologies for water treatment, developed specifically for these applications, and innovative protocols for larval rearing and nursery phases already proven successful, a reasonable strategy would favor the recovery of these facilities for the local production of seed, a product with strong demand due to the upturn in domestic consumption of seafood. This is not only a case of claiming, for the dinamization of our primary sector, valuable production assets which were funded by taxpayers under special permits in protected natural areas. It is also the critical question of facilitating the transition from an extractive to a productive mentality, reducing dependence on state support, taking advantage of a favorable market environment and using these facilities in generating the wealth and jobs we so badly require in order to consolidate our recovery.