martes, 9 de febrero de 2010

Proyecto I+D "Desarrollo de Tecnologías de Producción para Cultivo del Crustáceo "Austromegabalanus psittacus", Picoroco (Giant Barnacle)

The "picoroco", Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina), is a sessile crustacean distributed along the length of the Chilean coastline, including the Juan Fernandez Islands, southern Peru and the south of Argentina. It is one of the largest specimens of the cirripede group ("giant barnacle") Picoroco is a traditional Chilean dish and has been extracted on a small scale by local fishermen since the beginning of the XX century. Nevertheless, due to its high-quality meat it has aroused interest on the external market. Contrary to other species of crustaceans with delicate meat, it is not mobile and is neither carnivorous nor territorial. It possesses special attributes that favor culture in suspended systems, such as: seed can be obtained from the environment; rapid growth; gregarious recruitment and growth; natural filter feeding. In view of this, culture activities on an industrial scale are currently being undertaken in the south of Chile.

The "picoroco" not only has considerable commercial potential, it has also been used as a model for both physiological and ecological studies, due to the size of its muscular fibers and the presence of structural modifications resulting from growth in groups, respectively.

Why culture Picoroco?

Diversification and prosperity of the traditional Chilean aquaculture depends on approximately 70 endemic invertebrate species of commercial interest. Exports of these species are limited, as there is always an imminent danger of over-exploitation.

In the case of picoroco, we now have managed to obtain a stable population in our culture centers and take advantage of a standardized aquaculture with predictable results.

Pico-Roco culture has its origin in Universidad de Los Lagos´ "Centro de Acuicultura y Ciencias del Mar", located at "Bahía Metri" (41º36'S; 72º42' W) and in its Marine culture Laboratories in the City of Osorno, Southern Chile. The associate seafarming companies are Jal Fisheries S.A., which provides sales and marketing and Cultivos Cholche, which provides its experience in the culture of marine invertebrates. Part of the project was developed in Japan, where local specialists carried out market studies.

Report Fondef: "Cultivo y Exportación del Picoroco" (PDF)


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