An impressive range of companies, research organisations and individuals from around the world have made the shortlists for the 2020 Aquaculture Awards. These awards highlight the range of talent and cutting-edge advances in the technology involved in the global aquaculture sector. We are delighted to be among companies nominated in different categories.
Benchmark Genetics’ StofnFiskur is on the list for Aquaculture supplier of the year. Stofnfiskur is one of the world’s leading companies in selective breeding and production of Atlantic salmon ova. The concept of Stofnfiskur is based on producing salmon eggs all year round with the highest biosecurity available. The Atlantic salmon eggs, fry, parr and smolt are produced by world-class specialists in genetics, in a disease-free environment not found anywhere else in the salmon farming industry. The customer’s needs are of top priority at StofnFiskur. Delivering eggs all year round enables customers to secure a yearly improvement of production cost by improving growth rate and increasing survival, which makes for a more profitable salmon business. Stofnfiskur today exports to 22 countries. This market has slowly built up through the years mainly due to the high biosecure level of the salmon broodstock in Iceland.
In 2009-2011 Stofnfiskur helped the Chilean industry to recover after the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) crisis by supplying eggs from Iceland. Since June 2019 there has been an export ban on all salmon eggs from Norway to Scotland and due to the excellent production capacity at Stofnfiskur, Benchmark Genetics has been able to supply the Scottish market with all their egg needs to date.
Benchmark Genetics Salten (former SalmoBreed Salten) is listed in the Animal welfare category. Benchmark Genetics Salten is the most advanced land-based facility for the production of salmon ova in the world, located in Sørfjorden in Northern Norway. It provides high-quality genetic material to the global salmon market, which is recognized for rapid, growth, late sexual maturity, resistance to disease and parasites, and outstanding flesh quality. Substantial investments in R&D have resulted in products with improved resistance to major disease challenges.
Benchmark Genetics Salten is designed to hold the entire life cycle of broodstock on land, from egg to final mature broodstock. The result is the highest standards of biosecurity in the industry, which does not only provide high-quality ova to customers but also greatly benefits the welfare of the fish. By providing the best genetics available at the start of the production cycle, ensures robust, fast-growing salmon with a higher resistance towards disease and parasites. The breeding program at Salten is broad and sustainable, focusing on resistance to disease and parasites, growth, late maturation, and fillet colour. It adheres to the 3Rs: Replacement, reduction, and refinement, which provides a framework for performing more humane animal research, meaning that the number of fish tested on is limited. Benchmark Genetics Salten aims to provide the most outstanding genetics available at the start of the production cycle, helping aquaculture producers increase quality, yield and most importantly, the health and welfare of their animals.
Also, Benchmark Genetics was included in the 2020 Aquaculture Awards shortlist for the collaboration with Nofima for the development of white spot-resistant shrimp.
Benchmark Genetics has worked in close collaboration with Nofima, a world-leading institute for applied research within the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food research, to successfully produce a resistant line for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) in Pacific white Shrimp (Litopenaues vannamei) through genomic selection (GS).
The work was undertaken by a global team of Geneticists from Akvaforsk Genetics, who are all experts in the field. This pioneering work signifies the first application of GS in L. vannamei and represents a major milestone for advanced genetics work within the species. The collaborative project generated scientific knowledge on the successful implementation of genomic selection to improve WSSV resistance in marine shrimp. This innovative work has led to several new products and improved processes. Moreover, it has also triggered additional research and development work aimed at optimizing and adapting the genomic methodology for a wider array of key traits in L. vannamei. The WSSV resistance lines are ready to be shipped to shrimp farmers worldwide aiming to reduce the high risk of WSSV infection and outbreak.
Winners will be announced via social media on Wednesday 16 September 2020.