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Montevideo, March 23rd 2023 - 15:15 UTC



Falklands' projects in aquaculture confirm industry feasibility

Tuesday, February 12th 2008 - 20:00 UTC
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An ambitious multi-field aquaculture project in the Falkland Islands has successfully concluded its first stage and is ready to continue advancing. However Dr. Brendan Gara, Aquaculture Development Manager at the Development Corporation is leaving after having spent two years in the Islands.

His departure coincides with the rest of his team's celebration of their first year together, still as committed and as confident as they were at the start. But with the departure of the man behind it, is the project ready to stand on its own two feet? "Yes, the team has everything they need and the drive to make it work," said Brendan. "This is all about the feasibility of an aquaculture industry and of encouraging skills in the Falklands." The last year has been a busy one for the project. An impressive- looking array of tanks, filters, fish and worms have been installed, where before only vegetables grew. "We've got some fish at the moment, and we're ready to collect brood stock in earnest now, and it won't be long before we have a fully stocked hatchery," Brendan said. The site is looking good, and visitors always provide positive feedback, he said: "I'm very happy with it, it looks like a proper aquaculture site, the same as you would see elsewhere in the world." Environmental sampling has begun in various sites around East Falklands, with mussel lines deployed to act as indicators of productivity of the sea and water sampling ongoing. The aim is to assess the suitability of different areas for shellfish or finfish production and by now there should be mussel spat attached to the lines, and data gathering can begin. To date, the project has collaborated with three students on their dissertations, and in March, Dr Gordon Watson from Portsmouth University arrives for a week to help with worm culture. Brendan said that hopefully Tiphanie May (who was part of the team in her winter holiday) will be back when the time comes to do her dissertation. Meanwhile, Sam Cockwell is making good progress with his project on the diet of brown and zebra trout, having finished his field work last Christmas. Mickala Woodley is also currently hard at work finishing off her worm project, and Ben Perry's Masters Thesis (on the relationship between native fish and introduced brown trout in Chile and the Falklands) has been completed. At Monday's meeting of the Development Board chairman Councillor Richard Cockwell thanked Brendan for his contribution to the industry, adding that he wished him luck and looked forward to seeing him back in the Islands. FIDC General Manager Mark Brunet confirmed that contact will be maintained with Brendan on a consultancy basis with a fee to be negotiated. (PN).-

Categories: Investments, Mercosur.

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