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The Center for Aquaculture Technologies Announces Strategic Spinout to Optimize Specialization

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By Milthon Lujan

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CATC) facility in Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CATC) facility in Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) today announced the spinout of its Canadian subsidiary, Center for Aquaculture Technologies Canada (CATC), into an independent company. The spinout is part of a strategic alignment to optimize technical specialization. Both entities will continue as sister companies and integral parts of the Cuna del Mar portfolio, continuing collaboration while operating under separate governance and management structures.

CAT, headquartered in San Diego, California, will maintain its focus on advancements in the aquaculture genetics sector. CAT houses state-of-the-art genotyping laboratories and a team of genomics and bioinformatics experts, capable of developing custom genetic tools for any aquatic species. With seasoned breeding expertise, the company also helps organizations grow by supporting and advising on genetic improvement programs, ranging from mass selection and genetic diversity management to advanced techniques like genomic selection.

Meanwhile, CATC, a contract research organization with GMP release capabilities will continue to operate its facilities in Souris and Victoria, Prince Edward Island, Canada. CATC will retain focus on health and nutrition research for aquatic animals, supported by diagnostic services and a commercial-scale feed extruder.

John Buchanan, CEO of CAT, commented, “The realignment empowers CAT to pursue innovation in genetic improvement with singleness of purpose and strategic focus. We are excited about the opportunities in bringing our genome editing technologies to commercial impact while honoring environmental stewardship. We have a world class team in all genetics disciplines, are committed to client success, and are excited about the future. This will also allow CATC to pursue strategic initiatives in health and nutrition with agility and allow both teams to focus on innovation.”

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Continuity will remain in place for the senior management and frontline teams for both organizations ensuring their commitment to high-quality service standards that clients and the industry have come to expect.

Newly appointed CEO of CATC, Myrna Gillis, added, “The realignment presents us with a unique opportunity to deepen our expertise in health, nutrition, diagnostics, and specialty feed production while forging new pathways for research and development. We are excited about the prospects this brings and are committed to driving meaningful contributions to the growth of the aquaculture sector. We also express thanks to our founder John Buchanan for his vision and leadership, and for the initiative in charting the exciting new direction for both organizations. Look for additional updates from us soon.” Gillis has been overseeing the focus on health and nutrition since November of 2023. Additional information on CATC will be released soon.

CAT has made significant investments in driving the commercialization of genome editing, particularly through the development of core intellectual property to produce 100% sterile fish for farming. The rising demand for novel genetic solutions in the industry had provided the company with the opportunity to shape the future of aquaculture genetics through Next-Gen Breeding™ — a strategic initiative that combines leading expertise in genome editing and associated biotechnological tools with existing experience in genotyping, genomics, and breeding. CAT’s work to integrate all disciplines unlocks new potential in the rate of genetic improvement and enhances the ability to quickly respond to emerging challenges and traits of interest.

Despite operating independently, CAT and CATC remain committed to fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. Both entities are aligned in their mission to drive innovation and progress within the aquaculture domain.

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About

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) is at the forefront of genetic innovation in the aquaculture industry. We deliver tailored genetics solutions that drive value, uphold sustainability for our clients, and help them scale up. We offer a full range of genetic services, including an integrated Next-Gen Breeding™ strategy that combines genome editing, genotyping, and selective breeding to unlock the full potential of aquaculture.