Benchmark Genetics Shrimp’s Nucleus Breeding Centre
The Nucleus of our shrimp breeding program is a closed-cycle facility stablished more than 20 years ago. It is located on four hectares of land in the Atlantic Coast of Colombia near Cartagena. The program has all the infrastructure for the production and evaluation of our families and lines including algae production, maturation, larviculture, grow-out, and breeders’ tanks.
Disease challenge tests are run at facilities located in the highlands of Bogota far from the sea and approximately 950 km from the breeding nucleus in Punta Canoa. No animals exposed to pathogens in any challenge tests are reintroduced to the nucleus breeding centre. Similarly, the performance of sibs tested in commercial environments, outside the nucleus facility, is used to select breeding candidates for the next generation of the breeding nucleus.
As the core of the breeding program, biosecurity is the main priority in our operations. The Center holds a certification of biosecure aquaculture facility by the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario ICA, the health authority for animals in Colombia. It is isolated, and the nearest aquaculture facility is located more than 50 miles away. A two-meter-high fence encloses the whole perimeter with only one gated entrance. It has been certified as a SPF facility since 2017 and is under the active health surveillance by ICA.