CAT in contract to develop Arctic char broodstock

© Icy Waters
Arctic char

Genetics specialist the Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) has teamed up with Canadian fish farmer Icy Waters to work on a breeding programme for Arctic char.

Icy Waters, based in Whitehorse, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, is a fully integrated aquaculture business producing Arctic char (also known as charr) and char ova for other farmers.

CAT will apply genomic analysis to Icy Waters’ two founder populations of char, selecting the best traits from both in order to create an improved broodstock.

Doug Hotson, General Manager of Icy Waters Ltd. “Developing sustainable food and protein sources continues to be a key economic factor for many countries around the world. Aquaculture is poised to be an increasingly important contributor to this landscape. With the rise of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS), the benefits in growing char relative to other salmonids continues to gain interest, given their natural preference for higher densities.”

He argues that Arctic char is gaining momentum as an alternative to other commercially successful farmed salmonid species such as salmon and trout.

Klara Verbyla, Vice President of Genetics at CAT, said: “CAT are delighted to be partnering with Icy Waters to optimise and accelerate their genetic improvement program. With the growing appetite for Artic Charr, it is an exciting and opportune time for the CAT breeding team to partner with Icy Waters to accelerate the rate of genetic gains for key traits in Arctic char to improve efficiency, production, and quality. We look forward to working alongside Icy Waters to bring premium Arctic char to the global market.”

The facilities include an integrated hatchery with a quarantined broodstock production unit and egg incubation room. Ongrowing takes place in a fully separate tank farm next to the federally inspected processing facility.

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies is an R&D and contract service organization focussed on the application of biotechnology tools to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability in aquaculture and related industries. CAT is a joint US-Canada operation with facilities located in San Diego, California and in Victoria and Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada.