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AUSTRALIA - Selective Breeding - A Future Path For Aquaculture?

The worldwide growth in Aquaculture is prompting the industry to consider selective breeding as a potential area to increase production and efficiency

March 13, 2014

The worldwide growth in Aquaculture is prompting the industry to consider selective breeding as a potential area to increase production and efficiency.

Selective breeding and its current and future role in Aquaculture is one of the topics being covered at the forthcoming World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 Conference to be held in Adelaide, South Australia, in June.

Genetic futures – How might the business of genetics and breeding unfold?: will draw on international experiences in the commercial establishment, ownership and running of selective breeding programs, with speakers considering a range of business and co-operative models for running such initiatives.

Session chair, Dr Nick Robinson from the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research in Norway and South Australia’s Flinders University said selective breeding has been shown to be one of the most effective tools in improving the biological efficiency of production.

“However currently less than 10 per cent of the world’s aquaculture production is based on genetically improved stocks,” he said.

Dr Robinson said there was probably due to a variety of factors including:

• the large upfront costs of establishing selective breeding programs of a scale and complexity that will produce beneficial outcomes (strong genetic improvement in key economic traits);

• the relatively small size of our current aquaculture industries and willingness to pay for improved stock (smaller scale and less revenue compared to livestock); and

• the large numbers of different species under production, each requiring their own breeding program and specialised knowledge base.

“There are however an increasing number of mature breeding programs in aquaculture that has moved out of the realms of research and development and becoming commercialised,” Dr Robinson said.

World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 will take place at the Adelaide Convention Centre in Adelaide, South Australia from 7 to 11 June 2014.

World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 is an opportunity for the international aquaculture community to present their research/work, exchange ideas and discuss a vision for the future of the aquaculture industry as they focus on the theme of ‘Create, Nurture, Grow’, reflecting the dynamic nature of aquaculture development in the region.

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