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CRIA and Salmones Antártica sign an agreement to create the “Consortium for a sustainable aquaculture”

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By Milthon Lujan

Chile – Salmones Antártica S.A and CRIA formalize an alliance, in order to create an open space for work and institutional cooperation with the creation of the “Consortium for a sustainable aquaculture”.

The challenge of feeding the world’s population with a projected growth of 9 billion people by 2050 implies a sharp increase in food demand, in a complex scenario where climate change poses a growing threat to traditional agriculture. On the other hand, aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector worldwide, and if we are able to develop it in a regulated, environmentally and socially responsible manner, its intensification has the potential to produce the food needed to meet the future demand for safe and highly nutritious food required by the population and future generations.

However, it is not enough for us to promote aquaculture productivity, it must be compatible with the environment along with sanitary standards that are projected to an efficient and sustainable aquaculture, considering objectives that have already been exposed by institutions such as FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) and around some strategies (for instance the “One Health” approach). In this context, we believe that the academy must articulate in a coordinated manner with the relevant actors of the industry at different levels, to acknowledge their problems and to contribute to the development and implementation of solutions from a prism based on scientific evidence, thus, contributing to informed decision making.

In such circumstances, the University of Chile has set itself the objective of making a relevant contribution to work on the global food challenge, through the Center for Research and Innovation in Aquaculture (CRIA), which integrates analytical approaches related to genomics, nutrition, immunology, microbiology, and bioinformatics, to understand the biological processes associated with aquatic organisms seeking production and conservation solutions. To achieve these objectives the generation of alliances with companies, guilds, or other organizations is indispensable, since only in this way will we be able to address complex challenges such as a sustainable food production system.

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This is how Salmones Antártica S.A., a leading company in rainbow trout farming and one of the few that presents a complete integration of its operation, including a feed plant with the capacity to produce up to 100,000 tons per year, is the first company to formalize an alliance with CRIA in order to create an open working space and institutional cooperation to strengthen technical/scientific exchange, in which the aspects of nutrition and the development of functional diets play a key role. With this in mind, the “Consortium for a sustainable aquaculture” is being developed to accompany from the recognition and characterization of the most relevant problems, the design of associated research, and interpretation of results and their transfer, reducing risks and maximizing the probability of finding cross-cutting
solutions from raw materials to the final product, either through public or private financing.

This consortium is open to other participants, promoting the generation of networks and long-term relationships in which problems, experiences and results can be presented in a safe and comfortable way, reducing the company-university gap, favoring innovation and development in the search for sustainable aquaculture. Therefore, we leave you an open invitation to join this space.

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