Improved genetics indicates a bright future for Earth Ocean Farms

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By Milthon Lujan

World-leading genetic scientists from the Center for Aquaculture Technologies have partnered with Earth Ocean Farms in Baja Mexico to unpack the genetic mysteries of the valuable Pacific red snapper (Lutjanus peru) to boost productivity and promote faster growth. The development of this customized breeding program is the first of its kind for Pacific red snapper. It will assist EOF to select for specific traits in the snapper stock that show higher production yields through improved growth performance and phenotypic traits. The elements of the selection include insights into feed conversion and product yield.

The in-house genotyping team at CAT have developed a custom panel of genetic markers to accelerate genetic improvement in red snapper, analyze performance and ensure the overall health of the stock.

“It is exciting to apply our knowledge to new species,” says John Buchanan, President and CEO of CAT, “By using a customized approach, our expert team will be able to quickly show significant improvements for EOF. Ensuring a healthy genetic diversity among EOF’s broodstock will provide future options as flexibility and continued improvement are the keys to profitability.”

“The future of sustainably raised red snapper is vitally important to take the pressure of the overfishing of the wild Pacific and Atlantic red snappers while meeting the market demand for this delicious fish,” – says Pablo Konietzko, Director General of Earth Ocean Farms, “Implementing a family-based breeding program is a complex and challenging task, and that is why we chose to work with the expert team at the Center for Aquaculture Technologies. The CAT team not only understand fish breeding & genetics, they also carry practical aquaculture expertise. Their client-oriented approach will ensure that we will meet our company growth objectives for our mid and long term goals.”

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Scientists agree that the potential of aquaculture production to supply nutritious seafood protein to a growing world population is greatly enhanced by the rigorous application of genetics and selective breeding programs to choose preferred traits and apply these to breeding and management programs.

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) 

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) is a R&D and contract service organization focused on the application of biotechnology tools to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability in aquaculture and related industries. A joint US-Canada operation with facilities located in San Diego, California and in Victoria and Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada, our aquacultural expertise and experience combined with a solid background in cellular and molecular technologies and in vivo testing gives CAT a unique advantage in delivering research-based solutions. Contact us for information about collaborative opportunities for a diverse range of projects from discovery through final product development and testing. 

Earth Ocean Farms (EOF)

Nestled in the waters offshore from the arid terrain of the Baja region in Mexico, Earth Ocean Farms (EOF), an open ocean aquaculture producer has created an innovative and sustainable company that considers all aspects of their enterprise: growing native fish in an environmentally sensitive way while integrating the farm, hatchery and processing plant into the economy of this remote part of Mexico. EOF’s products are Best Aquaculture Practice certified (BAP). The Pacific red snapper and totoaba produced by Earth Ocean Farms are delicious, nutritious high-value products for discerning chefs and households.

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