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Akvaforsk Genetics at Aquaculture Europe 2017

This year’s annual EAS meeting Aquaculture Europe took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia from October 17th to 20th. It was a highly successful event, with nearly 1700 participants from more than 60 countries. This conference is an important meeting place for people working with sustainable development of aquaculture in Europe, and highlights recent developments and future perspectives. Application of quantitative genetics, genomics and breeding programs play critical roles in this work.

Akvaforsk Genetics, a part of the Breeding & Genetics Division of Benchmark, is a leading provider of genetic improvement services to the aquaculture sector. Under this year’s conference motto “Cooperation for growth”, Akvaforsk Genetics’ Ingunn Thorland delivered two presentations.

The first presented results were from a trial conducted on Nireus S.A. highly selected stock of Gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) in Greece, comparing growth performance when fed a standard commercial feed and an experimental feed utilizing by-products from terrestrial animal production, ingredients not used for human consumption. The results showed that the tested families ranked consistently similar with respect to growth and fat content when fed the two types of diets, demonstrating negligible genotype by diet interaction effects in this study.

Ms. Thorland’s second presentation presented a study on growth curves in SalmoBreed’s breeding program for Atlantic salmon in Norway. The results showed that the fish that genetically grew fast during the first summer in the sea was not necessarily the same fish that grew fast in the following winter season, and suggest that summer and winter growth in a 0+-production is influenced by different set of genes. Results presented also demonstrated genetic differences in growth curves, which may facilitate customized selection reflecting the producer’s production strategies. The work presented is part of the research project BEHAVEGENES financed by the Norwegian Research Council and coordinated by Institute of Marine Research, Bergen.

For more information about these studies contact Ingunn on

Other Benchmark companies present at the Aquaculture Europe 2017 were 5m, BMK Animal Health and INVE.  

For more about Breeding & Genetics Division of Benchmark Holdings and other Benchmark business divisions please visit

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