They start raising freshwater lobster in Pinar del Río for export
The claria Santa María fattening farm, in the municipality of San Luis, reintroduced the breeding of freshwater lobster in its productions and are taking the first steps for its export through the La Coloma Industrial Fishing Company (EPICOL).
According to statements to the Cuban News Agency of Riquelmes Álvarez Vargas, director of the entity, the first 150 kilograms of the species are already in that port of Pinar del Río for marketing abroad, where it is in high demand for its nutritional and delicious properties. flavor, very similar to that of sea lobster.
There the conditions for their development were established, while in a space created for this, 3,500 fingerlings spawned, while the animals in the gestation process are separated from the rest of the mass and transferred to another aquarium, where they are protected. He said that years ago, the freshwater lobster was introduced to the farm, but for some reasons its production ceased, and now this alternative has been resumed for the good of the nation’s economy, affected by the global economic crisis caused by the pandemic and for the intensification of the North American blockade against Cuba.
Originally from Australia and spread throughout the world, freshwater lobster meat has a high percentage of protein, low fat and cholesterol, while it is in very good demand in markets with high purchasing power, according to the digital encyclopedia Ecured. In addition, the aquaculture farm reintroduced tilapia, in order to increase the population’s food options and make better use of the large area of ponds in that aquaculture unit, said Álvarez Vargas.
Currently – he pointed out – they are preparing the conditions to also include volumes of red tilapia in the unit’s exportable assortments, of 18 workers, almost half of them female. When the then Felipe Poey station was created, one of the first founded in the aquaculture branch, it began as a tilapia fingerling establishment, that is, the species was reproduced, whose fingerlings were sold to other ponds in the territory and in the different municipalities.
He explained that the main purpose of the center is the production of claria and fingerling number two, consisting of receiving the species of 0.5 grams (g), later it is grown until it reaches 10 g, to be deposited in the pools and, from 50 g, it is transferred to the fattening area, where it reaches the final growth. The global annual plan –claria, freshwater lobster and tilapia– amounts to 150 tons (t), distributed in the 12 months of the calendar, and the five corresponding to January were fulfilled on the date and they are working on those of February.
However, in a forward-looking manner, although all the conditions are created, they apply alternatives for the capture of juvenile species in different sources, such as lagoons, they recover them and incorporate them into the crop and in the event that at a certain moment there are no seeds are introduced and all that is income and food for the people, said Álvarez Vargas. The Santa María lagoon feeds the ponds of the Ceba de Claria farm, it is the largest in the municipality and offers visitors a beautiful landscape.