Israeli company AquaMaof has signed an agreement with Atacama Yellowtail SpA (AYT) for the construction of a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) farm to produce 900 tons per year of lemonfish (Seriola lalandi) in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile. After its first phase, the plant’s production is expected to double to 1,800 tons.

The initial investment will be US$25 million, and construction of the facility is expected to start in the second half of 2022. Meanwhile, the first harvests are expected to reach the market in the fourth quarter of 2024. AquaMaof and Inno-Sea will participate in this project as shareholders.

The agreement has been made possible thanks to the joining forces of AquaMaof, AYT and Inno-Sea, AquaMaof’s partner for Chile and Latin America. According to Roberto Tishler, AquaMaof’s sales director, the project is of “strategic importance” for AquaMaof in Chile.

The new bluefin tuna

The director said that for the company this species is the next bluefin tuna, farmed in a controlled and healthy environment, without the use of antibiotics or chemicals. “The result is a healthy, nutritious and fresh source of seafood, produced in a sustainable way, safeguarding the welfare of the fish throughout its life cycle and optimizing the human resources needed to participate in the whole process,” added Tishler.

AYT’s general manager, Jorge Urrutia, noted that this first RAS facility is an important part of the company’s vision to establish sustainable commercial production of the highest quality lemonfish. “We strongly believe in and trust AquaMaof’s RAS technology,” he assured.

In addition to implementing the latest technology and recirculation processes, the Atacama Yellowtail project will generate approximately 50 new jobs, especially in the communities of Tongoy and Puerto Aldea. The new project will allow workers to train and generate economic activities different from those they have traditionally carried out, said Urrutia.

“This is precisely one of the objectives that AYT claims to have, to achieve an aquaculture facility that respects the environment and at the same time offers a sustainable industrial activity that provides decent jobs, job security and ongoing training.”

The Israeli company explains that aquaculture in general, and AquaMaof’s RAS technology in particular, are revolutionizing the field of aquaculture by facilitating efficient and sustainable fish farming, even in extreme environments such as deserts.

Today’s consumers, say AquaMaof, are environmentally conscious and want to buy healthy, organic and chemical-free products that are locally sourced from environmentally friendly producers, do not affect the world’s natural resources, and use energy and water consciously and efficiently.

Technology based on positioning itself in a desert climate region

The growth of the aquaculture sector and the development of a cost-effective solution for land-based aquaculture serves the needs of consumers by providing a sustainable solution that makes efficient use of natural resources and energy, improving overall sustainability.

“AquaMaof’s advanced RAS technology has been proven to produce fresh, tasty and healthy, premium fish such as salmon, trout, halibut, sea bream and others, from fish farming to the local market, consistently meeting production targets. AquaMaof has more than 30 years of experience in fish farming, with successful projects and farms worldwide,” they said.

The roots of the AquaMaof technology are based on positioning itself in a desert climate region with high temperatures and low rainfall.

For example, with studies of different fish and shrimp species being conducted at the company’s R&D facility in Israel’s Negev desert, AquaMaof enables producers to achieve profitable production in any environment and climate. By harnessing the natural desert environment to its advantage, the system achieves effective temperature control, resulting in low-cost production.

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