Today there is a significant shortage of Japanese oyster seeds in the world, given that different diseases have severely affected the supply of seeds for cultivation worldwide. Furthermore, acidification of the seas in the North American continent, which have affected the survival and seed production of Pacific oyster seeds.
However, Chile is exempted from these features and has strengthened its role as a country farmer, through the work of our Foundation's subsidiary named Cultimar, Tongoy Sea Harvest, which seeks to increase the export of healthy oyster seeds to international free markets in North America.
The project developed by Fundación Chile seeks to strengthen the export of Japanese oyster seeds to new markets such as Canada, in order to position our country as one of the leading players in the aquaculture world. The initiative also manages to maintain activity with small farmers, in order to boost the domestic market.
The Executive Director of Tongoy Center of Fundación Chile, Axel Klimpel, notes that "aquaculture diversification in Chile is one of the programs of Fundación Chile. The growing of the Japanese oyster presents excellent opportunities to increase the basket of products made in Chile. The subsidiary of Fundación Chile, Cultimar, has positioned itself as a major player in the supply of oyster seeds worldwide and it is internationally recognized for its quality both productive and health. "
Meanwhile, Roberta Stevenson, Executive Director of BCSGA, explains that "the seafood industry in British Columbia has been unable to access sufficient oyster seeds during the past five years, since American farms have experienced serious problems of acidification in the oceans.” Also, the Executive added that "access to this resource, provided by Fundación Chile, will put our industry in a good economic position, as currently produce US$ 32 million oysters per year and our coastline is 47 thousand kilometers, so , growth opportunities are endless. "
The seeds of Japanese oysters, whose scientific name is Crassostrea gigas, small mollusks are produced from breeding oysters, which are bred and supplied with sizes of 3-4 mm. The seed is transported by plane from Tongoy alive and after a journey of about 52 hours to get to its destination in the Canadian waters of British Columbia. The seeds will be grown by Canadian farmers who harvest to market size, that is to say, from 25 oysters per kilo, which are for the domestic market in Canada. In addition, the export income translates into US$ 330 thousand for 2014 and there are prospects of tripling this value to 2015.