Aquaculture for all

New DNA Test to Track Escaped Farmed Salmon

Salmonids Sustainability +2 more

NORWAY - Scientists at Nofima have developed a new and effective DNA test for the detection of escaped farmed salmon, where they can link the DNA profile of escaped fish to the plant they escaped from.

Lucy Towers thumbnail

Testing of the system showed virtually 100 per cent accuracy. To follow an escaped fish to its responsible owner, scientists find gene variants to the parents of all farmed salmon. This is done by cutting the fat fins and analysing their DNA.

The offspring of parents each have a unique DNA profile, and by sending all fertilized eggs from one set of parents or parent group to a smolt producer with a tracking certificate, any fish at each smolt producer will have a unique DNA profile. This will then allow the fish to be followed when it is later moved to a facility in the sea.

The DNA profile will be left in a national database so that the fish in the net cage is not required to be tested for suspected escapes.

DNA analysis of an escaped salmon will thus be able to match the gene profiles to one responsible business.

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