Over the past 30 years, Peru's aquaculture production has increased 34 times in value to reach an output that exceeds 135,000 tons annually. This exceptional growth can be traced back to the implementation of a regulatory framework similar to that of agro-exploitation.
Aquaculture development in Peru is based on three main pillars: innovation, legal security, and public programs that facilitate technology knowledge transfers to local communities. Its production is based on extensive systems of shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), fan shell (Argopecten purpuratus) and trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farming. The production of other introduced species such as tilapia (Oreochromis sp) or Amazonian fish isn't as common.
New technologies such as recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), which enable intensive production in a reduced space and with minimal water consumption - a paradoxically scarce commodity in the Amazon basin - is expected to lead to the expansion of the sector in Peru in the coming years.
Currently, these technologies are only used in research centres. To promote their integration, companies such as everis are working with national institutions such as the Technological Institute of Production (ITP) of Peru to introduce aquaculture companies to these systems. Their incorporation means, particularly in the Amazon basin, a source of economic wealth generation that does not depend on jungle trees' felling, one of the country's main sustainability challenges.
Additionally, land-based fish production is notable for having a much lower impact on greenhouse gas emissions than the predominant land-based livestock farms and agricultural crops while also ensuring food security by avoiding heavy metal pollution from mining through water filtration and treatment technology.
Ahuashiyacu Aquaculture Centre for Productive Innovation and Technology Transfer
The Ahuashiyacu Aquaculture Centre for Productive Innovation and Technology Transfer (CITE) in the San Martin region was launched to promote, develop, and improve MSMEs' competitiveness linked to productive activities. This contribution to food sovereignty is meant to enable these regions' inhabitants to improve their economic conditions.
The Ahuashiyacu CITE, which belongs to the ITP, has just put its new facilities into operation after an ambitious modernisation project led by everis. It has thus become a benchmark centre for training, research, development, innovation and technology transfer in aquaculture of Amazonian species such as paiche (Arapaima gigas), gamitana (Colossoma macropomum), paco (Piaractus brachypomus) and tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), among others.
The everis-developed project provided the infrastructure with the sector´s latest technology. The company has supplied and installed fourteen RAS at the plant, which will enable research and development projects with different tropical and Amazonian species, from reproduction and incubation to the production and fattening of fry.
These technological systems, which make it possible to build different RAS solutions according to the biological requirements and needs of each species, include a combination of filters (mechanical, UV, microfilters, biofilters) and temperature and oxygen sensors that guarantee the safety of the fish while recreating optimal conditions that favour the extension of the productive period throughout the year. This makes it possible to plan and have complete control over production, which guarantees optimum growth rates.
Moreover, the everis team has equipped the facility with spaces to produce live food (algae, rotifers, copepods and artemia) used to feed the fish in the early stages. And has taken upon them to train fifteen technicians in the management and operation of the plant.
The Ahuashiyacu Aquaculture CITE and its role in aquaculture development
The center's objective is to support technology transfer, training and technical assistance to aquaculture business units to adopt new technologies and increase their competitiveness, innovation capacity and product development. The new facilities will enable the Ahuashiyacu CITE to achieve such objectives and improve its training programs, which will benefit more than 2,000 aquaculture farmers.
Furthermore, the CITE will act as a strategic partner of aquaculture entrepreneurs. It will help them formulate and support innovative aquaculture projects through the adoption of high-impact technological global trends. These include RAS and BIOFLOC systems, which will generate greater value in the aquaculture production chain and improve the supply, productivity and quality for domestic and foreign markets.
CITE has leveraged USD 1.7m worth of investments in 22 research projects, technology adoption efforts and extension and capacity building initiatives in the region to-date.