The Grove (Pontevedra)
The New Pescanova wants to revolutionize the cultivation of marine species with its Biomarine Center which has opened this Monday in El Grove (Pontevedra). An R & D & I center, in which the Galician multinational has invested 7.5 million euros, with which it will seek to be disruptive in aquaculture techniques, focusing especially on octopus, the most precious asset in a Galicia that has long accused its shortage. In this way, the reborn firm in 2015 announced this Monday during the presentation of its new aquaculture center, that it hopes to start marketing the world’s first octopuses born and raised in aquaculture from the summer of 2022.
The Nueva Pescanova Group has equipped its new marine development center with the latest technology to become a world benchmark in research on health, nutrition, animal welfare, sustainability and new crop species. More than 40 researchers will work in this space, the same ones who managed for the first time to complete the reproduction cycle of an octopus raised by aquaculture, which now has five generations: the Lourditas octopus, whose great-great-grandchildren were recently parents. Already at the beginning of the eighties of the last century, Pescanova was a pioneer in the cultivation of turbot, whose production has been carried out since then in Galicia. “Of which for some years we were the only producers in the world and which led this group to lead this species globally,” said the president of the Nueva Pescanova Group, José María Benavent, during the presentation.
In this objective, they will use the more than 4,000 square meters of surface, powered by a photovoltaic solar park with 714 modules capable of generating about 300,000 kW / h per year. In addition, the new building has an informative space «awareness about the importance of caring for marine ecosystems for the future of the development of the Planet, in addition to tracing the history of aquaculture, which began in China 3,500 BC, as well as its benefits and future, ”explains the company.
The opening ceremony this Monday morning was chaired by the President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; by the president of the Nueva Pescanova Group, José María Benavent; the mayor of O Grove, Jose Cacabelos and by the general director of Fisheries Management and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Juan Ignacio Gandarias.
The president of the Xunta has championed the presentation and has valued the contribution of the sector to the Galician community. «Galicia is sea and fishing. It’s seafood and it’s aquaculture. We are a European power, we produce 85% of fish and shellfish in Spain. We are also a support for food from the sea and we are an economic engine for thousands of families in the region, with more than 254 million in turnover in the last year and 5,000 jobs. We believe that we had to accompany this multinational in this bet ». «Today is a great day for all those who are promoting Nueva Pescanova. We are facing one of the three most important aquaculture research centers in Europe. We are putting El Grove on the world map »he added.
For his part, the president of Pescanova, Jose Maria Benavent, prides itself on “continuing to be a pioneering company five decades later, since it launched the first freezer ship out to sea in 1971. For some years we were the only ones to grow turbot. The biomarine center comes from here. This center puts us on the map of world research. It is the first private aquaculture center in Spain and a unique project in the international framework. We will continue to tenaciously maintain our pioneer soul. “
In the words of Jose Maria Benavent, «The study ‘The future of Foods’ of 2020, predicts that the growth of aquaculture will be in the decade from 2020 to 2030 of a compound annual 5%, until reaching in 2030 a global volume of 300 billion dollars in value, according to the US investment bank, Morgan Stanley. Currently, 50% of the seafood consumed comes from aquaculture, according to the FAO.
With more than 10,000 employees and a presence in 19 countries on four continents, Nueva Pescanova (now owned by Abanca with 97.5% of the shareholders) continues in its endeavor to lead the Spanish trade in maritime products, after its re-founding in 2015. The Last February they carried out a debt capitalization process of about 550 million euros. A liability inherited from the «old Pescanova», whose leadership was prosecuted and with a sentence of eight years in prison for its president Manuel Fernández de Sousa-Faro, for manipulating the bank’s accounts between 2009 and 2013 to falsify nearly 3,000 million euros in turnover.