DUTCH based global breeding pioneer Hendrix Genetics has formed a new company to produce year-round high quality Atlantic salmon eggs in Norway.
Hendrix Genetics Aquaculture, to be based in Bergen, will introduce to the Norwegian industry the most advanced genetic and genomic technologies in salmon breeding.
HGA in Norway will be led by CEO Even Søfteland (pictured), of CapMare, who has a long history of successful operations in breeding and salmon production in Norway.
Søfteland said: ‘Getting Hendrix Genetics into the Norwegian fish farming industry gives a lot of opportunities for the salmon and trout producers in Norway, and is a clear indication that fish farming is an upcoming industry for the future.
‘The introduction of Hendrix in Norway will secure the delivery of high quality eggs to fish farming companies, and through competition with existing breeders will greatly accelerate the development of the best genetic products for the industry. I look forward to being part of this.’
Hendrix Genetics, and its subsidiary Landcatch, have led the industry for some time in the development of major genes, or QTLs, and genomic selection to help disease resistance.
Its ground-breaking work is producing improved eggs to help control the resistance of salmon to Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN), sea lice, amoebic gill disease (AGD) and pancreas disease (PD).
Linking the Norway operation to existing production facilities in the UK and Chile will be a first for the industry and ensure a more powerful breeding programme and rapid genetic progress.
Using Hendrix Genetics’ expertise as the world’s leading multi-species animal breeding company, HGA in Norway will offer the industry higher levels of R&D, greater choices, and competitive rates.
As the Norwegian industry develops over the next five years, HGA expects that demand for high merit genetic material from its programme will reach 20-30 per cent industry market share by 2020.
Neil Manchester, managing director of the Hendrix Genetics Aquaculture Business Unit, said: ‘We are delighted to set up Atlantic salmon breeding operations in Norway.
‘Hendrix Genetics will be the only aquaculture breeding company with land-based nucleus programmes in the three main salmon production regions.
‘With linked breeding programmes and egg production in Norway, Chile and the UK, all supported by Hendrix Genetics Research and Technology Centre, we can accelerate the development of our strains of Atlantic salmon to meet the demands of the Norwegian and international market.’
Antoon van den Berg, CEO of Hendrix Genetics, said: ‘This is an exciting phase in the development of Hendrix Genetics as a significant player in the salmonid breeding industry.
‘Combined with our majority shareholding in Troutlodge, which gives us a 30 per cent global market share in trout eggs, Hendrix Genetics can now truly claim to be a leading global aquaculture breeding company.’