Supplier's News

US coalition unveils new Atlantic salmon broodstock company

SalmoGen is an investment partnership between Cuna Del Mar, Builders Vision, the Penobscot Indian Nation, and Xcelerate Aqua.

March 13, 2024

Salmon is the most consumed finfish in the US and remains a significant domestic market opportunity. A producer-independent volume supply of Atlantic salmon eggs has been a missing link for the long-term development of salmon production in the US. Non-American strains of salmon eggs have been imported into the US. In some states only one egg option has been approved, while in other states there have been no egg options available, essentially creating domestic industry barriers.

In late 2022, a coalition of industry players, investors, and academic resources partnered up to create a high-quality supply option for Atlantic Salmon eggs in the US and as a result, SalmoGen Company Inc. was founded.

SalmoGen is an investment partnership between Cuna Del Mar, Builders Vision, the Penobscot Indian Nation, and Xcelerate Aqua. The company is also financially supported by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME).

The company is collaborating with some of the most experienced resources in the US and beyond in breeding program development. US partners include resources from the USDA, the University of Maine, the University of Idaho, and the University of Maryland. The Center for Aquaculture Technologies, Innovasea, and Xcelerate Aqua are strategic development partners.

The company has had broodstock under development since early 2023 in two partner locations. The company’s broodstock facility is being developed on Penobscot Trust Land in Maine in partnership with the Penobscot Indian Nation. The first stage production capacity is an annual capacity of 25 million eggs.

The Atlantic salmon strain is from Maine and has been sourced from USDA as a strategic genetics partner. Breeding development in SalmoGen is also emphasizing performance in land-based systems, with both US and international markets in mind. The first product in the market is scheduled for 2027.

“We have been contemplating an Atlantic salmon broodstock opportunity for years, and in the SalmoGen case, the pieces came together in a way that moved us to invest and to also be a committed industry partner,” said Chris Perry, Cuna Del Mar & SalmoGen Board Chairman.

“Builders Vision has prioritized investing in highly impactful companies that contribute to ocean health and sustainable food production, including aquaculture. With SalmoGen, we were impressed by the social and environmental profile of the company, its commitment to ecosystem restoration and workforce development, and its strong partnership with the State of Maine and the Penobscot Indian Nation,” said Peter Bryant, Program Director, Oceans, Builders Vision.

“We are pleased to be a part of an initiative that addresses a long-term aquaculture industry need in the US, and also a US effort with many strong players involved. The breeding strategies employed set a path for development of traits that will be attractive to producers,” said Erik Heim, Managing Partner, Xcelerate Aqua.