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Breeding project to define knowledge gaps

UK - A new EU research project will promote the use of genomic tools in farmed fish production. The benefits to the industry are thought ot be substantial and the aquaculture sector is being urged to support it.

The AquaBreeding project will be EU funded for two years and aims to promote excellence, funding and understanding of aquaculture breeding through a progressive integration between other European projects and initiatives with genetic development intersts.

It will embrace research work from the European aquaculture industry, the Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction Technology Platform (FABRE), The AquaGenome EU project and the emerging technology platform in aquaculture - EATP.

Project partners will include leading institutes in aquatic breeding research along with commercial organisations. Companies such as Akvaforsk, SYSSAF, Institute Spallanzi and Marine Harvest have agreed to be involved.

The work aims to improve productivity and breeding efficiency of farmed fish species through genetics development and selection procedure. The aquaculture business could gain significant performance benefits at commercial level by adopting these techniques. This kind of research is common place in livestock breeding programmes and has been responsible for significant advances in fertility, growth performance and feed conversion efficiency seen on commercial farms.