Earth Ocean Farms, CAT partnership to improve genetics of red snapper
The companies will select specific traits in the snapper stock that show higher production yields through improved growth performance and phenotypic traits.
The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) partnered with Earth Ocean Farms (EOF) in Baja Mexico to unpack the genetic mysteries of 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 in selecting 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 has 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,” said 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 continuous improvement are the keys to profitability.”
“The future of sustainably raised red snapper is vitally important to take the pressure off overfishing of the wild Pacific and Atlantic red snappers while meeting the market demand for this delicious fish,” said 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 understands fish breeding and genetics they also carry practical aquaculture expertise. Their client-oriented approach will ensure that we meet our company growth objectives for our mid- and long-term goals.”
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.