Aquaculture

Beginning in 2007, Baja Project began working with community members to explore an aquaculture initiative as a way to diversify the economy in El Barril and provide a more regular source of income.  As an alternative to fishing, several community members formed an aquaculture cooperative (Los Callos del Golfo, or LCG) to pursue the cultivation of mano de léon (lion’s paw scallops) and oysters in San Francisquito, a neighboring community approximately 40 minutes away from El Barril. Baja Project team members supported this initiative by conducting a cost-­‐benefit analysis of the entire aquaculture project and found it financially viable. Baja Project consultants also pursued contacts with production experts and market representatives. Mr. Jameson funded registration costs, as well some initial infrastructure and working capital costs. With the assistance of CONANP (Mexico’s federal agency with oversight over protected areas), cooperative members had ecological studies performed which showed largely promising results. After some starts and stops, as well as leadership changes, LCG registered as a formal and legally binding Sociedad de Producción Rural (SRP) or Rural Production Society. The group obtained an aquaculture farming permit (Permiso de Aquacultura de Fomento), and, in 2014, laid its first pilot line. An order of oyster seeds has been purchased and is waiting in the laboratory in Guerrero Negro. Once both the seeds and seed baskets are transported to El Barril, the first round of oyster farming will begin. In light of the motivation and effort displayed by the current members of Los Callos del Golfo, Baja Project has recently decided to take a step back and let the cooperative move forward on its own.