Seaweed Project in Chiloe Island, Chile
For its second project, the NSF proposed to sponsor St Andrews S.A. and Chiloe Seafood working with a technical school located on Chiloe Island, historically one of the poorest areas in Chile. Our mission was to develop a project in line with the main trends of the seafood industry today (Organic, Sustainable, Recycling) and help students develop a product which can make an economic impact. We gave students the opportunity to learn and build alliances with local seafood industry players, creating links between the seafood industry and the community through education.
Liceo Insular de Achao was founded in 1983 to provide education to kids from Achao and those living in surrounding islands that do NOT have any schools.
- 910 students have 88 workers and involve 450 families.
- Many of the students (islanders) are boarders that live at the school during the week.
- When kids pass to secondary school (15 -16 years) they can choose between 4 areas to get a specialization.
a. Aquaculture – 35 students
b. Farming – 48 students
c. Chef – 25 Students
d. Industrial Food Processing – 42 students
- Today the school is supported with contributions from the government and private donations. However there are not enough funds, the conditions they have are precarious, and don’t give them any possibility to improve their basic education.
The project was born detecting three conditions that had not been able to be united. We provided three great solutions involving two different industries located in Chiloe Island.
- First Conditions and most importantly: produce a new product involving two of the school’s specialties Aquaculture Students + Industrial Food Processing.
- Help and support local Industries of Mussels and Abalone, creating an Association were students can understand more about this business and build a relation between school, students and private enterprise.
- Create a product under the International Standards Seafood Industry is facing, organic, sustainable and with a social responsibility that helps local communities.
During spring and summer some of Mussel Farms are affected with seaweed that grows under the farms and sticks to mussel lines and ropes. Many times the farms have to be cleaned before they can be harvested.
- The Abalone Industry requests huge quantities of seaweed to feed their abalone (1 center approx. 140 tons/week). During winter time the presence of seaweed is reduced so they import seaweed cookies from Mexico that they mix with fresh seaweed to feed their abalone (app 75 kg per cage/week).
- Students would practice Team Work that would be able to harvest the seaweed from Mussel Farms and produce this cookie for sale to the Abalone Industry.
- We would create a model that impacts the whole community giving them a new product to offer and also connecting the students with local companies that in the future can be an opportunity where they can work and develop new alternatives for their family and industry.
What we are doing Today?
We are starting to make samples with the students, creating the teams and responsibilities they need to assume in order that this project can be done and create an opportunity for this and future generations.
Contact a local Abalone company that’s helping the students to study more about abalone farming and what are the Industry requests and demands they are facing.
This is the first project that unites two of the four specialties of the school, which makes it extremely important for them since it is a job that requires integration and teamwork, teaching children that both conditions are one of the best ways to develop in life.
What do we expect for the Future?
Have the possibility to create a new product that gives the school the possibility to increase their sources of income so it can invest in better conditions and improve the education of their local community.
Napa Seafood Foundation is already supporting the school with a donation that helped them buy some of the the equipment they requested to produce the seaweed cookies at a small scale industrial level.
Your cooperation and support is fundamental, you have the chance to change and improve the lifestyle of 910 kids and 450 families.