MEXICO CITY, Dec 27 (Tierramérica).- The Mexican Mayab Mollusk Cooperative will expand its production of baby four-eyed octopus (Octopus maya) in order to expand its sales.
The Mexican Mayab Mollusk Cooperative will expand its production of baby four-eyed octopus (Octopus maya) in order to expand its sales.
The 12-member cooperative is managing the first project to raise baby octopus, a species endemic to the region and the basis for a gourmet dish in the United States, European Union and Japan.
"They are in the process of creating a commercial farm; they are past the scientific research and certification phase, and found that it is profitable," Rubén Peña, a consultant with the non-governmental Produce Foundation and advisor to the fishers in the southeastern state of Yucatán, told Tierramérica.
The farm is able to generate 200 baby octopuses per week, and the growth of the project follows five years of research backed by the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Free Bicycles in Buenos Aires
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 27 (Tierramérica).- To encourage the use of bicycles, the Buenos Aires city government this month made about 100 two-wheelers available to anyone interested.
Free of charge, riders can take a bike, helmet and lock from any of three parking areas in the downtown area, simply by showing their identity card and proof of home address. They can use the bike for two hours at a time.
The project "will help put the issue on the agenda," but because it is a "very small" pilot effort, it runs the risk of failure, Néstor Sebastián, president of the Urban Cyclists Association, told Tierramérica.
The government plans to expand the supply to 500 bicycles, regulate bike-parking areas, and set aside more bike routes. So far there are about 40 kilometers -- the goal is to reach 100 km.
According to the Association, seven to 10 percent of trips in the city are made by bicycle, which helps ease traffic and reduces pollution.
Renewed Permit for Gas del Caribe
TEGUCIGALPA,, Dec 27 (Tierramérica).- After eight months of hearings, the Honduran Secretariat (ministry) of Environment and Natural Resources announced the two-year permit renewal for the controversial Mexican company Gas del Caribe, which operates in the Atlantic region of Omoa, in the Honduran northwest.
Deputy environment minister Jhonatan Laínez told Tierramérica that the renewal is conditioned on the payment of a fine of more than 600,000 dollars and the implementation of measures to mitigate pollution and to provide benefits for the Omoa community.
Laínez said the National Environmental Consultative Council issued the resolution after an intense period of investigations "and any other recommendation that is proposed should be heeded by the company."
Gas del Caribe has been criticized for contamination for more than eight years, but in the last two weeks the company launched an aggressive campaign against the environmental groups, which in turn have announced more protests against the permit renewal.
Shell of Amazon Fruit Replaces Flour in Bread
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 27 (Tierramérica).- A bread made from the shell of the cupuaçú (Theobroma grandiflorum), a typical fruit of the Amazon forest, was widely approved in a consumer test. This alternative product, developed by researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP), achieved a favorable rating from more than 90 percent of those surveyed.
The idea to find a substitute for wheat flour emerged from concerns of Bruno Sanches Rodrigues, a graduate in food sciences from USP, about the growing volume of waste produced by agro-industries. The cupuaçú fruit is used in candies, ice cream and an alternative chocolate.
"Brazilian legislation demands appropriate treatment of waste. In partnership with a company in that sector, I experimented with açaí, buriti and cupuaçú, and discovered that the shell of the last is a great source of fiber and excellent raw material for bread flour," Rodrigues said. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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