Aquaculture for all

Fertile times for sterile research in farmed salmon

Atlantic Salmon Breeding & genetics +2 more

A new project investigating sterility in farmed Atlantic salmon has been launched today, following the signing of an agreement between Benchmark Genetics and the University of Iceland.

Salmon farming is an increasing concern in Iceland due to the potential environmental risk of mating between farmed and native salmon. The research teams will explore opportunities for producing sterile salmon on a commercial basis, and will gain a deeper understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms behind the maturation process.

Jón Atli Benediksson, Rector of the University of Iceland, and Jónas Jónasson, CEO of StofnFiskur seal the deal

The three-year project, in which Benchmark is being represented by Stofnfiskur, is called ‘Controlling the maturation in farmed salmon’ and will be funded by Umhverfissjóður Sjókvíaeldis. Two new positions at the university have been created.

Aquaculture has significant potential for growth in rural communities in Iceland and provides job opportunities in a wide range of areas, such as biology, engineering and other services needed by aquaculture producers. However, to grow from its current levels, it needs to be sustainable, diverse, competitive and economically viable. Central to this development is the environmental sustainability of the industry – and introducing sterile farmed salmon helps to promote environmental conservation.

Stofnfiskur and the University of Iceland have successfully partnered on several projects in the field of innate immunity over the last eight years.