Kames and Xelect partner on steelhead trout genetics

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Selective breeding program aimed at faster growth, greater survival

steelhead trout
Scotland-based aquaculture genetics company Xelect is partnering with U.K. steelhead trout producer Kames Fish Farming on a selective breeding program aimed at faster growth and greater survival rates.

Scotland-based aquaculture genetics company Xelect is partnering with U.K. steelhead trout producer Kames Fish Farming on a selective breeding program aimed at faster growth and greater survival rates.

Kames has farmed trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in sea lochs of the Inner Hebrides for 50 years, making it the oldest family-run fish farm in Scotland.

The companies’ project started with an initial genetic evaluation of Kames’ broodstock to ensure that the selective breeding program would be based on a highly diverse population.

“In the next stage, Xelect will combine genetic analysis of the fish (“genotypes”) with real world performance data (“phenotypes”). By using the latest breeding program management techniques and our highly sophisticated software, OptiMate, Xelect can then identify the optimal crosses to provide Kames with major trait improvements every generation,” explained Lidia de los Rios Perez, Xelect program manager.

“This is an exciting stage of development for Kames as we launch into the next 50 years with fully integrated production,” said Neil Manchester, managing director at Kames. “Partnering with Xelect is an obvious choice as it not only preserves our Scottish provenance but offers access to a great team of specialists dedicated to enhancing our own unique strain of steelhead trout.”

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