Benchmark Genetics’ Atlantic salmon product range is the result of continuous and systematic development applied to Benchmark’s long-established breeding programs. Using the latest genomics tools, our products are tailored to meet the specific farming conditions, environments, production models and challenges of our customers, with a special focus on fast growth balanced with late maturation, disease and parasite resistance, and harvest quality.
From products adapted for organic production, to ova for all-female populations, and ova from ISA-free segments, our product offering aims to provide salmon producers with the best starting point for a successful harvest in every production system, whether for sea or land-based farming. Our offering drives consistency in supply and supports the long-term growth and sustainability of our customers business.
- QTL-IPN – High protection against Infectious Pancreas Necrosis
- GS-Lice – Improved resistance to sea lice attachment
Standard and optional traits included in each product package
|Traits||SalmoProtect||SalmoSelect - PD||SalmoSelect - ISA|
The SalmoProtect product is available as certified organic ova from Norway (DEBIO) and Iceland (TÚN). The production procedures have to be adapted to comply with the special requirements set by the certification bodies:
- No feeding of the broodfish during the last months of production
- Only certified organic feed is permitted the last 6 months ahead of stripping
- Broodstock tanks for organic production must have separated water systems to completely separate the fish from regular production
- Hormones to induce spawning is not permitted for organic broodstock
- Special requirements for what type of disinfectants to be used for cleaning the tanks and the equipment
- Fish tanks, incubators and packaging is specifically marked with the certifier’s signage
Preventing early maturation
Early sexual maturation is a common problem in high-intensity production systems, such as land-based RAS facilities. When the fish goes into maturation, it stops growing and converts muscle and fat into testes and ovaries.
Benchmark Genetics has been selecting for late sexual maturation in the breeding programmes since the early 1970s; starting with phenotypic selection, moving into family selection in 1991 and further introducing Genomic Selection (GS) in 2017.
At our facilities in Iceland, we have also been introducing specific treatments of broodstock and eggs, resulting in a significant reduction in sexual maturation; All-Female and triploid. These products are now gaining increased popularity with land-based customers, as they are experiencing improved production output and profitability by greatly reducing the rates of early maturation.
The All-Female method is a complex breeding strategy where female broodstock is sex-reversed in a process called masculinization, using hormones. These males produce sperm cells that all carry X-chromosomes giving offspring populations that only consist of females, resulting in the “All-Female” product. As females have a much lower incidence of early maturation, this significantly reduces the early maturity challenge that many land-based farms are experiencing with mixed-sex populations. The All-Female product has become very popular with full-cycle land-based customers, who experience a higher number of individuals fully grown to the ideal harvest weight and more homogeneous weight distribution.
Some producers using combinations of high temperature and full-cycle freshwater are still experiencing 12–15% losses on All-female due to maturation. It is possible to eliminate the problem by letting the All-Female eggs go through a process called Triploidization. Triploid salmon carry three sets of chromosomes instead of two, are sterile and never mature. Triploids occur naturally at low levels in all plants and animals and are commonly used in crop production (e.g., tomatoes) and aquaculture (e.g., oysters).
In salmon, triploidy can be induced by exposing eggs to pressure shortly after fertilization. Although the number of chromosomes is increased through this reproductive technique, no genetic modification is involved, and triploid crops and animals are not GMO. Triploid salmon is slightly more sensitive to temperature during incubation and low oxygen levels during growth. Nutritional requirements are also slightly different.
Contact our Technical staff for more information.