PIONEERING genetics company, Landcatch, Troutlodge and Hendrix Genetics have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming to significantly extend their global share of the Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout markets.
Scottish company, Landcatch, which supplies Atlantic salmon eggs and smolts as well as cutting-edge genetic services to the international aquaculture industry, has signed a MoU to become a 45 per cent shareholder in Seattle-based Troutlodge, Inc, the world’s largest rainbow trout egg producer.
It will mean Landcatch diversifying into a new species for the first time, a strengthening of the Hendrix Genetics aquaculture operations, as well as enhanced support and growth for Troutlodge, with all three companies enthusiastic about the opportunities that will come from greater positioning in world aquaculture.
The deal includes:
A joint venture (JV) that will see a new company, Landcatch-Troutlodge Chile SA, being formed to establish an independent Atlantic salmon breeding programme, backed by genetics research. It aims to capture a substantial market share of salmon eggs in Chile within 3-5 years.
Troutlodge Chile SA’s existing trout egg production and supply operation will be developed and expanded. It is also planned to develop a pedigree coho salmon programme to service the Chilean industry. With all three species combined, it is expected that the employment will grow significantly.
A Genetics Support Agreement (GSA) that will ensure all Troutlodge breeding programmes will now be supported by Landcatch and Hendrix Genetics, combining pioneering genetic technologies transferred from the salmon and livestock industries with Troutlodge’s decades-long genetic improvement programme.
Neil Manchester, Managing Director of Landcatch, said: ‘This is a very exciting investment, which will see Troutlodge and us make a further significant impact in world aquaculture.
‘It increases our sustainability by working with such a credible partner; it allows us to become re-established in Atlantic salmon egg production in Chile and it enables us to pursue a significant expansion strategy with the aim of becoming one of the main global players in salmon and trout.’
Steve Brown, CEO of Troutlodge Inc, said: ‘The collaboration with Landcatch and Hendrix Genetics enhances our ability to feed the world with healthy fish.
‘It will result in improved products as well as exciting opportunities for our dedicated employees. Having access to Landcatch’s advanced genetics and genomic technologies will be vital in enhancing salmon and trout production in the future.’
Antoon van den Berg, CEO of Hendrix Genetics, added: ‘This key investment makes sound business sense. It will also produce fish that are affordable, healthier, more productive and less susceptible to disease. It also underlines our ambition to be leaders in every sector in which we do business.’
A report published in May by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation said global fisheries and aquaculture production totalled 158 million tonnes in 2012, a rise of about 10 million tonnes on 2010.
It said fish farming holds ‘tremendous promise’ in responding to surging demand for food due to global population growth.
Troutlodge is one of the oldest aquaculture companies in North America, having been in the business for nearly 70 years and employs over 110 individuals worldwide.
It is the world’s largest producer of pathogen-free rainbow trout eggs, annually selling nearly a half billion eggs in over 50 countries.
Troutlodge eggs are available on a year-round basis and superior performance is achieved by using genetic technologies to achieve continual improvement.
Troutlodge operates 15 hatcheries located in the United States, the Isle of Man and Chile. The Isle of Man hatchery produces trout eggs for Europe and the Middle East.
The Chilean operation began in 1996 and produces salmon and trout eggs, fry and smolts, which are sold to salmonid producers throughout Chile.