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why is Gm salmon made

Submitted by: caitlyn


Expert response from Dave Conley

Director, Corporate Communications, AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.

Tuesday, 23/05/2017 14:06

This is an interesting question because the original reason for the research that led to the development of the AquAdvantage Salmon was to solve a different problem other than fast growth. I wrote this article for an aquaculture publication that was published last September.

As you will read in this article, the decision to produce a faster growing salmon was taken after the attempt to make a cold-tolerant salmon failed

However, you are probably interested in why there is a need to produce a GM salmon. The answer to that has to do with the rising demand for seafood as the human population grows. Wild fisheries harvests are at their maximum yield and the only way to increase seafood production is through aquaculture. To make aquaculture more productive, finding ways to shorten the production time is a key area of research. Using conventional breeding techniques that involve the selection and mating of fish that exhibit fast growth takes time. In the case of Atlantic salmon, it takes a minimum of six generations (four years per generation) to double the growth rate. That is a minimum of 24 years. Using molecular genetic techniques, a faster growing salmon was achieved in one generation of two years. The fast growth trait in the GM salmon is passed naturally from one generation to the next using conventional breeding techniques. The genetic modification was done once, in 1989. This achievement has significant benefits for seafood production as more salmon can be produced in a shorter period of time, thus helping to achieve the goal of increasing production to meet the rising global demand.