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Benchmark Genetics Chile receives disease-free certification for salmon eggs

May 23, 2023  By Hatchery International staff


Inspecting incubation at the Ensenada facility (Photo: Benchmark Genetics Chile)

Ensenada facility seen from the air (Photo: Benchmark Genetics Chile)

Benchmark Genetics Chile has received the Disease-Free Compartment Certification from Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca).

This makes Benchmark the first genetic company in the country to receive this distinction for its high biosecurity standards. The certification, which Benchmark officially received on May 19, opens up opportunities to export genetic material from Chile to salmon producers around the world.

“This sounds so simple, but in practice, it is not,” said María Soledad Tapia, national director of Sernapesca. “A large epidemiological surveillance program is required to ensure that there are no pathogens. It is a high standard, and as a government, we aim precisely to raise all standards, with an important focus on the operation of the aquaculture industry.”

The Disease-Free Compartment Certification defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) is given to aquaculture farms that can “demonstrate an active surveillance system, with strict biosecurity measures enforced where the animals are free of certain listed diseases.” The farms must have firm management practices to keep the animals healthy and safe from diseases to get the certification.

“This certification is very relevant as we now have the same health and biosecurity standards in Chile as in Iceland,” said Jan-Emil Johannessen, head of Benchmark Genetics, in a press release. “Biosecure operations are an important differentiation factor for Benchmark and reduce the risk related to egg supply for our customers. Our Chilean production can now be considered a source of biosecure eggs for salmon farmers worldwide.”

Benchmark Genetics’ Chile operations joins the company’s Iceland operations as one of only five salmonid compartments that have received this certification around the world. Two Canadian compartments have received this certification, along with salmon farming company, AquaChile.


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