The Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries yesterday announced the granting of two salmon broodstock licenses to Benchmark Genetics Norway. The aquaculture biotechnology company thus obtains a land-based broodstock permit and a sea-based broodstock permit.
The sum of the two licenses totals 780 tons of maximum biomass allowance (MTB), 360 MTB for production in the sea, and 420 MTB for production on land. This is more than double the volume of its current licenses. The company claims that this concession strengthens its genetic capabilities and improves the security of supply for its customers.
"Benchmark's genetics operations are core to our ability to supply highly bio-secure salmon eggs to salmon producers year-round. The grant of the new licenses reflects Benchmark's leading position in the industry, track record, and quality of our operations," said Trond Williksen, CEO of Benchmark Holdings plc.
In its announcement, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries said the grant comes after upholding an appeal against the rejection of a breeding permit application from Benchmark Genetics Norway, and recalled that demand for seasonally independent roe has increased in recent years.
"A well-functioning broodstock market is crucial for achieving the goal of sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry," said Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran. "If Norwegian broodstock and roe production are to have the capacity to meet the need for roe throughout the year, land-based broodstock production must be increased. The company's commitment is an important part of securing this access."
Benchmark said the additional broodstock capacity expands the selection pool in its genetic program, reduces operational risk by having broodstock volume at different sites, and supports the potential future expansion of its production of ova in Salten. An important milestone for the company as it improves its capabilities and security of supply for its customers.
"The two new licenses enable us to increase further security of supply of bio-secure, high-quality eggs with high-performing genetic traits for our customers supporting our mission to drive sustainability in aquaculture," stated CEO Trond Williksen.
In the announcement of the concession, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries said the purpose of own broodstock permits is to "contribute to the production of roe and milk from disease-free fish with a high breeding value or from special strains." It also recalled the broodstock scheme must ensure a sufficient supply of broodstock and roe of good quality in all regions in the country.
Benchmark is a market-leading aquaculture biotechnology company. The company's mission is to drive sustainability in aquaculture by delivering products and solutions in genetics, advanced nutrition, and health which improve yield, growth, and animal health and welfare.
For its part, Benchmark Genetics is the leading provider of genetics services based on extensive experience from 30 applied breeding programs involving 20 species in 16 countries.