Martec and Xelect partner on spotted rose snapper genetics program

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Costa Rican producer aims to reach 10,000 MT of production through better breeding

A spotted rose snapper. Costa Rica’s Martec has partnered with genetics company Xelect to ramp up production of spotted rose snapper through modern techniques. Photo courtesy of Martec.

Costa Rica-based aquaculture company Martec has partnered with Xelect, a genetics company in Scotland, to ramp up production of spotted rose snapper through modern techniques.

Martec is a fully integrated, BAP-certified (Best Aquaculture Practices) producer based in Quepos, Costa Rica. Xelect will help the company “balance pedigree control and inbreeding with continuous gains in important traits through selective breeding” of spotted rose snapper (Lutjanus guttatus), the companies said in a joint release.

The aim is to increase annual production to 10,000 metric tons (MT).

“The first step is developing a bespoke genetic marker panel for Martec, which allows them to analyse genetic relatedness,” Xelect’s breeding program manager, Dr. Carlos Diaz Gil. “We’ll then effectively work as an in-house genetics department for them, analyzing hundreds of thousands of possible breeding combinations to create the best possible improvements in key traits.”

Tony Broadhurst, Martec’s technical director, added: “After more than a decade applying traditional methods, we’re starting to use 21st century technology to choose the best fish for breeding our future generations”.

Accordin to Xelect, genetics are becoming “the norm” for producers of all sizes and for a wide selection of popular species like salmon, bass and bream, carp, tilapia and pangasius.

“The whole industry is waking up to what’s possible,” added Xelect CEO Prof. Ian Johnston.

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