AquaChile, Benchmark joint venture creates new Atlantic salmon breeding operations

Hatchery International staff
June 14, 2018
By Hatchery International staff
The new Benchmark Genetics Chile will produce ova at Chaicas' high-quality biosecure land-based facilities in Chile
The new Benchmark Genetics Chile will produce ova at Chaicas' high-quality biosecure land-based facilities in Chile Benchmark
Aquaculture biotechnology firm Benchmark and salmon producer AquaChile have announced a breeding and genetics joint venture to form a new genetics company that will create a "world-class salmon breeding operation," according to a statement from Benchmark.

The new Benchmark Genetics Chile will produce eggs at Salmones Chaica's high-quality, biosecure, land-based production facilities in Chile. Salmones Chaica is owned by AquaChile. Benchmark Genetics Chile will be supported by Benchmark's land-based breeding operations in Iceland and utilize genetics technology from Benchmark's Akvaforsk Genetics in Norway, Benchmark said in a press release.

The new joint venture company will supply AquaChile's Atlantic Salmon egg requirements, and is also expected to market Coho Salmon and Rainbow Trout eggs adapted for Chilean conditions.

Benchmark Genetics Chile will combine leading-edge technology in salmon genetics and genomics from Benchmark and AquaChile to drive progress in improving fish health, including resistance to diseases such as SRS and sea lice.

At joint venture announcement, Benchmark CEO Malcolm Pye welcomed the partnership that combines AquaChile's existing land-based production and locally adapted genetics business with Benchmark's leadership in salmon genetics and research.

"Genetics provide the best starting point for production in terms of disease resistance, production efficiency and processing quality and yield. This agreement establishes a strong platform for Benchmark in Chile and we look forward to working with the industry to support its sustainable development for the long-term future," Pye said.

AquaChile is the sixth largest salmon producer in the world, with production facilities in Chile, Costa Rica, Panama and the U.S.

"This partnership will allow AquaChile to continue improving the genetics of our fish and, with that, the productivity and overall performance in our core salmon and trout farming business," said Agustín Ugalde, CEO of AquaChile.

"This transaction also validates our efforts to date in building local capacity for the production of salmon eggs to the highest quality and biosecurity standards."

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