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Perch Production Boosted by Better Genetics

US - Ohio fish farmers will be able to raise the top grade yellow perch - the state's No. 1 food fish - with the potential to increase production efficiency up to 50 per cent over current growth standards thanks to better genetics.

Ohio State University aquaculturists with OSU South Centers at Piketon are analyzing the genetic traits of yellow perch lines then cross-breeding those exhibiting high-growth rates and little genetic similarities, according to Ohio Farmer.

After two years of research, data of first generation crosses have shown the fish grew 28 to 54% faster than the unimproved fish. The goal of the research is to genetically improve broodstocks of yellow perch - a species that lags in growth.

"Yellow perch is an important fish species for Ohio's aquaculture industry, but a major problem for the yellow perch industry is the relatively slow growth of currently cultured populations of this species," Han-Ping Wang, director of the Ohio Aquaculture Research and Development Integration Program told Ohio Farmer.

"Our goal is to help farmers raise bigger fish. Bigger fish means more dollars."

Wang and his colleagues are accomplishing this task using a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility and new genetic marker technology that improve upon traditional breeding methods. The Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Lab at Piketon, the first of its type in the Midwest, enables researchers to track the pedigree of the parents to the offspring so when genetically unrelated fish exhibiting the best growth characteristics are bred, the genetics showcasing those traits can be traced back to the source.

View the Ohio Farmer story by clicking here.