Partnership to bring tilapia welfare to the Americas

Spring Genetics will receive specific welfare-focused training from FAI experts as well as use of FAI’s Tilapia Welfare assessment app.

01.Hideyoshi Segovia-Uno, CEO and Co-owner of Spring Genetics
Hideyoshi Segovia-Uno, CEO and co-owner of Spring Genetics
April 4, 2024

FAI and Spring Genetics partnered to promote and enhance tilapia welfare standards in the aquaculture sector. It is an important step in the journey towards supporting more sustainable aquaculture practices, particularly across the Americas. Its significance is underscored by the challenges facing the tilapia industry, including higher mortality rates due to disease outbreaks and the impacts of global warming.

“I have long admired FAI’s work and by partnering with them, we aim to enhance tilapia welfare across our breeding sites and among our clients,” explained Hideyoshi Segovia-Uno, CEO and co-owner of Spring Genetics. “Welfare is crucial to improving fish performance, alongside genetics, nutrition, and health management. FAI's expertise and user-friendly tools will greatly benefit our work in the industry and help us improve animal welfare with greater ease and efficiency.”

Based in Miami, Spring Genetics operates a state-of-the-art nucleus of tilapia for breeding. The company is dedicated to improving tilapia genetic traits to increase productivity and sustainability for tilapia farmers worldwide, with a particular focus on North, Central and South America.

Through the new partnership with FAI, Spring Genetics will receive specific welfare-focused training from FAI experts as well as use of FAI’s Tilapia Welfare assessment app.

“Prioritizing animal welfare is crucial for enhancing the most important performance indicators in our operations and those of our clients. This approach aligns with our commitment to the well-being of the fish we breed while simultaneously optimizing productivity and overall performance,” Segovia-Uno said.

To mark the start of the new partnership Spring Genetics staff attended an online “train the trainers” workshop delivered by FAI’s director Murillo Quintiliano and Aquaculture Program manager, Sara Barrento. The workshop gave a detailed overview of tilapia welfare practices by introducing the Tilapia Welfare App, providing an overview of FAI’s e-learning resources, and outlining the benefits of maintaining good tilapia welfare.

The new partners are now planning a series of aquaculture events in Central America, beginning with the 3rd Global Tilapia Leaders conference from June 26-28, 2024 in San Salvador, El Salvador.

“We are opening farmers’ eyes to new ways of growing tilapia. This partnership will facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration across the industry, paving the way for improvement in aquaculture practices,” concluded Quintiliano. “In time, we will extend our collaborative efforts into Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America, complementing existing activities in Brazil and beyond. This partnership will be a catalyst for positive change throughout the region.”