Vigo, 8 November 2021 – The Nueva Pescanova Group has opened this morning in O Grove, Pontevedra, the first private aquaculture research centre in Spain which, with an investment of 7.5 million euros, will position the company at the forefront of aquaculture research worldwide, becoming a reference centre in the improvement of health, nutrition, animal welfare, sustainability and new farming species (of the 250,000 marine species that exist, there are only 580 that we know how to farm using aquaculture).
The centre has a surface area of 4,000 square metres with a solar photovoltaic park for self-consumption made up of 714 modules with an annual energy production capacity of almost 300,000 kWh, which will avoid the emission of CO2 that is equivalent to planting more than 7,000 trees. It is home to more than 40 researchers who have already achieved the world milestone of completing, for the first time in history, the octopus reproduction cycle in aquaculture, managing to ensure that not only the specimens born in Nueva Pescanova have reached adulthood, but that they can reproduce outside their natural habitat. To date, work is already underway with the fifth generation of octopuses (Lourditas, the first octopus to be born in aquaculture, grow up and become a mother in Nueva Pescanova, already has great-great-grandchildren who have just become parents themselves). The Nueva Pescanova Group will commercialise the world’s first octopus born in aquaculture in summer 2022.
Pescanova Biomarine is working on several projects in collaboration with technology partners, universities and research centres to achieve progress in digital transformation and sustainability. These include the work carried out with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies in shrimp aquaculture alongside Microsoft. 100% of the processes can now be monitored automatically and in real time, boosting the efficiency and sustainability of the farms, guaranteeing food traceability and improving animal health and welfare.
PESCANOVA BIOMARINE CENTER MUSEUM
The centre is also home to the Pescanova Biomarine Center Museum, an informative space open to the public to raise awareness of the need to preserve marine ecosystems for the future development of the planet. It will also provide an insight into the history of aquaculture, which began in China in 3,500 B.C., and will also provide information on the benefits and future of the sector.
Currently, 50% of the seafood we consume in the world already comes from aquaculture, according to FAO. It is a sector that employs 2.5 million people worldwide.
The Nueva Pescanova Group’s commitment to aquaculture as a complementary activity to fishing aims to ensure the availability of marine resources for future generations, while promoting greater protection of wild fishing grounds. Since the 1980s, Nueva Pescanova has been farming turbot in Galicia, ” for several years we were the only producers of this species in the world and this has led the Group to become a global leader in this species”, said the President of the Nueva Pescanova Group, José María Benavent. In Nicaragua, Guatemala and Ecuador, the Nueva Pescanova Group farms vannamei shrimp on a total surface area of 7,000 hectares of natural lagoons equivalent to 15,000 football pitches.
This morning’s inaugural ceremony was presided over by the President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; the President of the Nueva Pescanova Group, José María Benavent; the Mayor of O Grove, José Cacabelos and the General Director of Fisheries Management and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Juan Ignacio Gandarias.
In the words of José María Benavent, President of the Nueva Pescanova Group, “Morgan Stanley, in its study “The future of Foods” published in 2020, forecasts that in the decade from 2020 to 2030 aquaculture will grow at a compound annual rate of 5%, reaching a global volume of 300 billion dollars in value in 2030″.