MARINE FARMING IN ILHA GRANDE
The beginning of marine farm in Ilha Grande's Bay dates back to the 90's, when a small laboratory for reproducing bivalves was built. Nodipecten nodosus was the species selected, because it was native from the area, commonly know as scallop (vieira, in portuguese). After succeeding in the reproduction, an Institute (Instituto de Ecodesenvolvimento da Baía da Ilha Grande - IED-BIG) was created, and the incoming supply made it possible for locals to become marine farmers in the island.
Later in the 90's, governamental actions, mostly in the form of environmental compensation programs, were very important for stablishing the mariculture in the area, focused mostly in scallops. Nowadays, there are at least 14 scallops producers that take part in a local association (AMBIG - created in 1999, they became examples of cooperation among producers and have gained recognition among the governmental organs).
In 2009, an student from the south of Brazil, Arthur Rombenso, decided to make his thesis about cobia fish and convinced Carlos Kazuo, a local entrepreneur, to make some tests with growing cobia. Not long after, the city hall supported the project of what became the first cobia farm in Brazil.
Written by André Luiz de Araújo, biologist and employee of Fundação Instituto de Pesca do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FIPERJ). Translated and shortened by Beatriz Mattiuzzo.
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COSTA VERDE MARINE FARM
Around the year 2000, marine farming looked promising in Ilha Grande Bay.
At that time, tourism was the main economic activity in the region. It was about that time when Carlos Kazuo and Hiroko Odaka, owners of a small hotel in the area (Pousada Nautilus), visited marine farms in the south of Brazil, and decided to implement something similar in Ilha Grande.
In 2002, the couple started growing macroalgae (Kappaphycus avarezii). They later tried mussels and oysters, until in 2004 they started farming scallops - the local species and main product in the Bay.
In 2009, they joined forces with the city hall and started an small fish farming, for research purposes, of groupers, sea bass and cobia.
From that on, the company became one of the largest producer of national scallops and is among the pioneers in marine fish farming, with cobia fish.
In its almost 20 years of history, a dream of marine farming became a bigger and real project. Nowadays, Costa Verde Marine Farm produces about 12 tons of cobia every year and a good amount of scallops. More than that, it employs locals of the island, allowing than to keep the local culture, and makes it possible for several undergrad and grad students to develop their research projects.
Written by Artur N. Rombenso, oceanographer and pioneer in cobia farming with Maricultura Costa Verde. Translated by Beatriz Mattiuzzo.