Fundación Chile has a hatchery of marine fishes in Tongoy, where it develops the management of breeding in captivity and the massive production of juvenile flatfishes in a controlled environment, such as turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) and hirame (Paralichthys olivaceus). This was the first Center that produced juvenile flatfishes in a controlled and sustainable way (20 thousand fishes of 10 g) during the spring of 1995, after the start of its first productive attempts in 1993.
The main difficulties for the commercial farming of the flounder are related to the low growth rate experienced by juvenile flatfishes that were cultured in earth ponds. In comparison with other flatfish species of identical quality and commercial value, the flounder takes twice as long to reach the crop size. Therefore, it is essential to conduct researches to select characteristics of the species. This will permit its farming in a controlled and intense manner and also will develop a diet according to the requirements of the species.
This native flatfish has difficulties to respond to the commercial farming. The management of the species has finished, but its growth rate requires farming periods that make the business unprofitable. Therefore, it has been chosen to allocate the project to repopulate artisanal fishing sectors, taking advantage of the lowest value of the production of juveniles. The juvenile repopulation project was proposed in the Bahía Tongoy, Coquimbo Region that considered the availability of technology for the production of juveniles and the overexploitation of the species (Phase I: 48.000 released fishes), initiative that had the support of CORFO. Nowadays, the Phase II of this regional project is being developed. This phase considers a new repopulation (70 thousand juveniles) and the measurement of ecological and environmental aspects. Objective of the Project: The project seeks to establish a flounder stocking program (Paralichthys adspersus) in the Bahía de Tongoy, Coquimbo IV Region; like a viable strategy for the marine resource management in order to increase captures and landings of the artisanal fishing sector of those overexploited species. The assisted repopulation or recruitment of fishes is oriented to boost and foster the artisanal and sport fishing in coastal areas. The migratory and reproductive habits of the flounder, as well as its commercial and culinary properties, suggest that the repopulation with this species will be of great interest for the artisanal fishing communities and for the sport fishing practitioners.
The flounder has favorable characteristics for the implementation of repopulation activities, given its high commercial and recreational value, with low migration, remaining in a determined or restricted area during great part of the life cycle.
Who participate? : The project is developed by Fundación Chile with the support of the Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP), in conjunction with the company Cultivos Marinos Tongoy S.A., the Independent Artisanal Fishermen’s Association of Tongoy and the Association of Divers, Assistants and Artisanal Fishermen of Puerto Aldea.