The Health of Chile’s Shellfish – Time for an Analysis

Published Last updated

Kate Casey

News published in, April 2007

For years consumer markets in the U.S., E.U., and Singapore have required environmental certification of fresh and processed bivalves, and since 1989 Chile’s national fisheries service Sernapesca, has been doing its best to meet market requirements. The truth however is that the culmination of data generated by Sernapesca’s program has not been integrated in a manner that facilitates the opportune detection and mitigation of toxic algae blooms or other hydrobiologic plagues. In February of this year the Institute of Fishery Fomentation, IFOP, initiated a technical project to improve upon Sernapesca’s health monitoring program for bivalve mollusks. The project task has been to compile, analyze, and correlate the information from Sernapesca’s program and other environmental monitoring programs. The objective is to provide baseline reference information in a concise format, and generate better technical interaction among professionals within the Undersecretary of Fisheries, Sernapesca, and the FIP, the Fisheries Investigation Fund. Earlier this month in Valparaíso, IFOP held a technical coordination meeting for representatives of all government agencies and institutions involved to get the project started. The initial objective from the data analysis is to identify and define macrozones characterized by their occurance of certain toxic algae blooms .