Spring Genetics®, a Benchmark company, has been granted an import license for tilapia genetic material to Colombia, making it the first authorized tilapia genetics importer in the country.
In a multilateral collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), the Federacion Colombiana de Acuicultura (FEDEACUA), and Acuacultivos El Guajaro, the teams were successful at completing the regulatory process to obtain a license to import new robust tilapia genetic material.
Spring Tilapia®, brand name of the tilapia strain provided by Spring Genetics, has gone through 8 generations of selection at the breeding nucleus in Miami for key traits such as fast growth, survivability and yield, and more recently advanced genomic selection for resistance to Streptococcus iniae and S. agalactiae. The genetics are developed in a highly biosecure environment and undergo continuous health surveillance at the breeding nucleus.
The first shipment of genetic material to Spring Genetics’ distributor in the Caribbean region, Acuacultivos el Guajaro, is scheduled in September.
Spring Tilapia® fingerlings will be commercially available in Colombia in 2020 and will provide a significant opportunity for producers to improve their productivity and sustainability.
With nucleus in Florida (USA), the Spring Genetics® breeding program is designed and supervised by Norwegian based Benchmark company, Akvaforsk Genetics (AFGC), a leading provider of genetic improvement services to aquaculture industries worldwide. AFGC has extensive experience from more than 15 large scale selection programs covering 15 species in 25 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
According to FEDEACUA, the total tilapia Production in Colombia is 70,000 tonnes, of those 60 per cent are red tilapia and the remaining 40 per cent are Nile tilapia. Most Nile tilapia produced is processed and exported as fresh fillet to the US market, making Colombia one of the main tilapia fresh filets exporters to US in the world and the third largest tilapia producer in LATAM, after Brazil and Mexico.