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Groundbreaking breeding programme established for Pacific red snapper

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
18 February 2022, at 12:30am

Geneticists from the Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) have partnered with Earth Ocean Farms in Baja Mexico to establish a Pacific red snapper breeding programme in Baja Mexico.

Three red snapper, ready for sale
Earth Ocean Farms produce Pacific red snapper (pictured) and totoaba at their farms in Mexico

© Earth Ocean Farms

The customised programme is the first of its kind for Pacific red snapper (Lutjanus peru) and aims to assist Earth Ocean Farms (EOF) to select for specific traits in the snapper stock that show higher yields through improved growth and phenotypic traits. The elements of the selection include insights into feed conversion and product yield.

The in-house genotyping team at CAT have developed a custom panel of genetic markers to accelerate genetic improvement in red snapper, analyse performance and ensure the overall health of the stock.

"It is exciting to apply our knowledge to new species," said John Buchanan, president and CEO of CAT, in a press rlease. "By using a customised approach, our expert team will be able to quickly show significant improvements for EOF. Ensuring a healthy genetic diversity among EOF’s broodstock will provide future options as flexibility and continued improvement are the keys to profitability."

“The future of sustainably raised red snapper is vitally important to take the pressure of the overfishing of the wild Pacific and Atlantic red snappers while meeting the market demand for this delicious fish,” added Pablo Konietzko, EOF's director general. “Implementing a family-based breeding programme is a complex and challenging task, and that is why we chose to work with the expert team at the Center for Aquaculture Technologies. The CAT team not only understand fish breeding and genetics, they also carry practical aquaculture expertise. Their client-oriented approach will ensure that we will meet our company growth objectives for our mid- and long-term goals.”

Scientists agree that the potential of aquaculture production to supply nutritious seafood protein to a growing world population is greatly enhanced by the rigorous application of genetics and selective breeding programmes to choose preferred traits and apply these to breeding and management programmes.