Friday, March 11, 2011

GE-salmon – blessing or monster-fish?

It all started in the 1980’s, when Garth Fletcher, Choy Hew, and Peter Davies of Memorial University in Newfoundland and Queen’s University in Kingston, tried unsuccessfully to improve survival rate of Atlantic salmon in ice cold water by injecting it with genes of other species. What, however, succeeded was to produce in 1990 a fast growing salmon by injecting growth hormone genes from Chinook salmon and a genetic on-switch from ocean pout that causes continuous creation of the growth hormone.

It takes the GE-salmon approximately 10 percent less feed and only 16 months to grow to the same size and weight, which normal salmon needs three years to reach, and the resulting fish are sterile. To exploit their innovation, they had become partners with A/F Protein in a new company called AquaBounty Technologies with a research facility on Prince Edward Island, Canada, where GE-salmon is bred and grown, employing the technology developed at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

They are planning to raise the GE-Atlantic salmon inland and process and ship it as table-ready fish to the US. In any case, the opinion is that it tastes as any high-quality Atlantic salmon. Read more ...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Aquaculturists, published and supported by the International Aquafeed Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

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