The high cost of starting up seaweed cultivation projects along the Chilean coastline is the main hurdle to the aquaculture industry restoring areas where this key marine resource has been heavily harvested. The productivity of farmed seaweed areas also varies greatly between aquaculture sites, which further threatens the financial viability of projects that are geared towards shoring up coastal livelihoods and supporting marine conservation.
However, a new aquaculture subsidy policy designed to overcome these barriers will help less than 13% of the targeted beneficiaries in the industry.
These are the findings of a multi-disciplinary research group led by environmental economists at the University of Concepción. Their aim was to test how well designed the policy is, who is most likely to benefit from the scheme, and how effective it might be in supporting the development of this industry.