On Friday April 4th, under the framework of the project, "Strengthening the Cuban Food Production and Aquaculture Sector through Resources Optimization and Recovery" (Proyecto Real: Recuperación para la Alimentación), two independent but complementary intensive recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) equipped with state-of-the-art wastewater treatment were inaugurated in Cuba.
The first aquaculture system is a modern fresh water hatchery for the production of catfish fingerlings (100,000 juveniles of 10 grams). The second system is an on-growing (production) farm for annual production of 20 tons of consumption size fish. Both systems are employing novel recirculation aquaculture technology with advanced water treatment technologies to purify and reuse water. In general, RAS systems are considered as one of the major solution for providing sustainably produced food for world population, especially in the future.
The inauguration ceremony witnessed presence of Mr. Herman van Hooff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office of Culture for Latin America and the Caribbean and representative for Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Aruba, His Excellency, Mr. Norbert Braakhuis, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Cuba, His Excellency, Mr. Ariel Bergamino, the Uruguayan ambassador to Cuba, Ms. Anne-Sophie Houee, the representative of the European Union Delegation in Cuba, as well as high representatives of Cuban Ministry of Food, aquaculture sector, and food processing industries.
As part of the project several Cuban aquaculture professionals participated in advanced trainings in Netherlands and Croatia. The provision of the two pilot fish farming systems, the first of this type in Cuba, will allow the Cuban counterpart in the project (Empresa de Desarrollo de Tecnologias Acuicolas - EDTA) to demonstrate and incorporate the latest technological advances on fish farming to help further developing the aquaculture sector in Cuba.
The project is led by UNESCO-IHE, in cooperation with Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology (PBF), Croatia, and Cuban partners: Food Industry Research Institute (IIIA), Food Industry Enterprises Group (GEIA), and Aquaculture Technology Development Enterprise (EDTA).