November 17, 2006
Expect explosive growth expected in world salmon breeding
Salmon breeding would yield significant gains over the next few years, Dr Alan Tinch, Breeding Programme Director with Landcatch Natural Selection (LNS) said.
Landcatch is a Scotland and Chile-based salmon breeding company.
Addressing the first Fresh Water Conference in Chile, Dr Tinch said that a number of valuable advances in salmon breeding are already on the way and they have the potential to rival breeding gains achieved in land species.
Rapid progress in salmon using state of the art methods of genetic selection has allowed the industry to see improvements in salmon across a wide range of factors, such as health, welfare, flesh quality, disease resistance and the cost of production, he said.
Tinch noted that in the pig sector, lean meat production costs have been reduced by 20 percent in the last 20 years while the poultry industry has achieved a 49 percent reduction in breast meat production costs since the mid-1970s.
These were possible due to a combination of improving growth rates and meat yield Tinch said, adding that he is confident salmon breeding would be capable of delivering similar benefits.
However, Tinch, said genetic selection alone would not be enough to deliver long-term benefits.
Tinch gave four key elements to good animal production: good management, health, nutrition and genetic selection, all of which are crucial to sustainable salmon production.