Advancing Commercial Performance of North America Origin Atlantic Salmon Through Integration of Genomic Selection
Salmon aquaculture is a key economic contributor and food producer in Atlantic Canada, providing over 8,000 jobs that raise more than 323 million salmon meals annually. While salmon is already known to be one of the most efficient methods of producing animal protein, improvements to the biological performance of salmon grown in the waters off Canada’s east coast will be key to protecting animal welfare and bolstering the sector’s success in domestic and international markets.
This collaborative project between Mowi Canada East, Huntsman Marine Science Centre and Genome Atlantic aims to advance the commercial performance of North America origin Atlantic salmon through integration of genomic selection.
Genomic selection maximizes the amount of genetic gain that can be achieved per generation while maintaining genetic diversity. Since 2017, Mowi European Business Units have implemented genomic selection for traits of economic importance in breeding programs of European origin Atlantic salmon. Now, with the availability of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for North American strains of Atlantic salmon, there is an opportunity to identify and select for genetic signatures within Mowi Canada East’s broodstock that positively influence general fish performance, resistance to sea lice, and tolerance to changing water temperature.
Improvements to the commercial performance of North America origin Atlantic salmon will increase sustainability of the sector and enhance the consumer image of Canadian-produced seafood.