Federal Government authorizes commercial cultivation of macroalgae in Santa Catarina

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Santa Catarina mariculturists will have another important income alternative. On Thursday, the 24th, the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) authorized the commercial cultivation of the macroalgae Kappaphycus alvarezii on the coast of Santa Catarina. The product, used in the pharmaceutical and food industry, is highly valued in the market and can be combined with the cultivation of oysters, mussels and scallops. This will be another exclusive market in Santa Catarina.

"More good news for Santa Catarina's agribusiness. Throughout 2019 we made several negotiations with the Institute of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Secretariat of Aquaculture and Fisheries and Ibama for the release of macroalgae cultivation in Santa Catarina and today we reap the results Santa Catarina's mariculturers will have another income alternative", celebrates the Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Ricardo de Gouvêa.

Ibama's Normative Instruction authorizes the commercial cultivation of Kappaphycus alvarezii between the municipalities of Itapoá and Jaguaruna. The researcher at the Center for Development in Aquaculture and Fisheries (Epagri/Cedap), Alex Alves dos Santos, explains that the decision brings the possibility of diversifying marine crops, increased profits for mariculturers, greater offer of jobs and income in traditional communities .

"In addition to these benefits, perhaps the greatest contribution is environmental, as algae are the basis of the aquatic food chain and absorb nutrients from the water to promote its growth, favoring marine life. With this authorization, the next few years will be a lot of work for Epagri , for Ufsc and especially for the mariculturists who together will be building a new production chain in the history of agribusiness in Santa Catarina", he points out.

Due to its gelling, thickening, stabilizing and emulsifying properties, macroalgae is used in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, foodstuffs and textiles.

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Santa Catarina research

Studies for the cultivation of macroalgae in Santa Catarina began in 2008 in a partnership between the Agricultural Research and Rural Extension Company of Santa Catarina (Epagri) and the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Ufsc). Epagri/Cedap maintains two experimental crops of Kappaphycus alvarezii in Penha and Governador Celso Ramos and negotiations for production authorization were resumed last year.

Mariculture in Santa Catarina

Santa Catarina is the largest producer of molluscs in Brazil. There are 565 mariculturers distributed in 11 municipalities and generating around 2,000 direct jobs. In 2017, production was around 13.7 thousand tons of mussels, oysters and scallops.

The state is the only one in the country that carries out permanent monitoring of cultivated areas. The State Program for Hygienic Sanitary Control of Molluscs is one of the management and sanitary control procedures in the production chain, providing assurance and safety for producers and consumers.

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