Ex­plor­ing mar­kets

Scot­tish sec­tor ex­plores op­por­tu­ni­ties in Chile

Fish Farmer - - Contents – Editor’s Welcome -

WITH salmon pro­duc­tion in Chile reach­ing record lev­els (ac­cord­ing to aqua­cul­ture in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment firm Aquabench) in the last few months, and the mar­ket strong, a small but rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scot­tish del­e­ga­tion de­scended on the bi­en­nial Aqua Sur ex­hi­bi­tion, held in Puerto Montt in Oc­to­ber.

Salmon farm­ing in Chile gen­er­ates a re­ported 35,000 di­rect jobs and 40,000 in­di­rect jobs in the Los La­gos re­gion alone and there are sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties for en­ter­pris­ing overseas sup­pli­ers.

Tak­ing ad­van­tage of these was Dundee based Ace Aquatec, which had its own stand at the show for the first time (see Con­tain­ment, page 44), while OTAQ and the In­sti­tute of Aqua­cul­ture were rep­re­sented on the UK’s GREAT booth, set up by the Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce and the em­bassy.

Also there from Scot­land were del­e­gates from Marine Scot­land, Scot­tish De­vel­op­ment In­ter­na­tional, the Scot­tish Aqua­cul­ture In­no­va­tion Cen­tre (SAIC), and Scot­tish En­ter­prise.

Tas­myn Ewart, of Scot­tish En­ter­prise, which sup­ported Ace Aquatec’s pres­ence at the show, said Chile – and South Amer­ica – of­fer a huge op­por­tu­nity for in­no­va­tive Scot­tish com­pa­nies through the aqua­cul­ture sup­ply chain.

‘The event was a great op­por­tu­nity for col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween uni­ver­si­ties, re­search in­sti­tu­tions and Chilean coun­ter­parts,’ she told Fish Farmer.

The GREAT stand fea­tured Swansea Uni­ver­sity and CEFAS, too, but was dom­i­nated by Scot­land and pro­moted Scot­land’s sus­tain­able aqua­cul­ture sec­tor.

The em­bassy pulled to­gether a pro­gramme for the par­tic­i­pants of the GREAT stand to go and visit a Marine Har­vest site at Chiloe Is­land, and gain an overview of the aqua­cul­ture sec­tor in the coun­try.

And the Bri­tish am­bas­sador, Jamie Bow­den, or­gan­ised a series of tech­ni­cal talks led by the UK par­tic­i­pants, and hosted a net­work­ing re­cep­tion.

There were a num­ber of talks by Chilean gov­ern­ment and re­search in­sti­tu­tions around the di­rec­tion of the Chilean mar­ket, said Ewart, with the very clear mes­sage that they wanted to grow but must do so sus­tain­ably.

SAIC’s se­nior in­no­va­tion man­ager Don Fowler said he was there to as­sess the mar­ket op­por­tu­nity for Scot­tish/UK sup­ply chain busi­nesses in Chilean aqua­cul­ture, and to seek col­lab­o­ra­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties for Scot­tish aqua­cul­ture.

‘They are still in re­cov­ery and adapt­ing to new reg­u­la­tions on biomass and stock­ing, and go­ing through a site re-lo­ca­tion ex­er­cise,’ said Fowler.

‘But with the right syn­er­gies be­tween the reg­u­la­tors and com­pa­nies and com­mu­ni­ties, the fu­ture looks op­ti­mistic.The chal­lenges re­main, which are op­por­tu­ni­ties – sea lice, al­gal blooms, emerg­ing dis­eases and pre­da­tion con­trol.’

He said he had good dis­cus­sions with In­te­sal (the In­sti­tuto Tec­nológico del Salmón), which may lead to joint Scot­land/Chile projects.

And he vis­ited the Marine Har­vest site as part of the UK del­e­ga­tion, and along­side the Cana­dian del­e­ga­tion.

This, he said, was very in­ter­est­ing, with 5,000 tonnes biomass and 6,000 tonnes con­sent.

‘The Chilean mar­ket is large, three times as big as Scot­land’s, and there is real op­por­tu­nity for sup­ply chain com­pa­nies from the UK and Scot­land.’

Above: Marine Scot­land’s Alas­dair Mitchell and Mike Palmer; SAIC’s Don Fowler and the In­sti­tute of Aqua­cul­ture’s James Dick vis­it­ing a Marine Har­vest site in Chile

Mak­ing the most of these op­por­tu­ni­ties will re­quire an in­no­va­tion mind­set with in­no­va­tive prod­ucts, uency in the lan­guage, cul­tural un­der­stand­ing and lo­cal mar­ket pres­ence. He also noted a strong pres­ence from Cana­dian and Dan­ish com­pa­nies at Aqua Sur.

Fol­low­ing the en­thu­si­asm of this year’s Scot­tish mis­sion, there has been talk of a Scot­tish stand at the 2020 ex­hi­bi­tion, along the lines of the

With the right syn­er­gies be­tween the reg­u­la­tors and com­pa­nies and com­mu­ni­ties, the fu­ture looks c’” op­ti­misti

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