Headline News

First commercial spotted rose snapper genetic program underway

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Central American aquaculture producer, Martec, and Xelect signed a partnership to create the first large-scale genetic breeding program for spotted rose snapper (Lutjanus guttatus). 

Martec is a fully integrated, BAP-certified producer, based in Quepos, Costa Rica. By joining forces with Xelect, they will be able to introduce advanced modern genetic techniques, balancing pedigree control and inbreeding with continuous gains in important traits through selective breeding. This will be critical as they ramp up their production to 10,000 tons per year. 

Xelect’s breeding program manager, Carlos Diaz Gil, said “the first step is developing a bespoke genetic marker panel for Martec, which allows them to analyze genetic relatedness. We’ll then effectively work as an in-house genetics department for them, analyzing hundreds of thousands of possible breeding combinations to create the best possible improvements in key traits.”

Tony Broadhurst, Martec’s technical director, added that “after more than a decade applying traditional methods, we’re starting to use 21st-century technology to choose the best fish for breeding our future generations.”

Xelect’s CEO, Ian Johnston, sees this as part of a rapid shift towards genetics becoming “the norm” for producers of all sizes. “In the last couple of years, we’re increasingly seeing all the main producers switching to genetics-backed breeding. It’s not just the traditional favorites like salmon, bass and bream. We’ve recently begun work on a whole range such as rohu carp, tilapia and pangasius. The whole industry is waking up to what’s possible.”


Photo source: Xelect.

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