Fish health is a prioritised discipline both in selective breeding and the operative production of brood fish and eggs.
To improve the fish’s health through selective breeding one selects for so-called “robust” traits. These are qualities which increase resistance to viral and bacterial diseases as well as other health-related factors.
The table below gives an overview of those traits which are measured and controlled in the selective breeding program for Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout.
|Robust traits in AquaGen’s
selective breeding program
|Resistance to ISA||X|
|Resistance to IPN||X||X|
|Resistance to Piscirickettsiosis||X|
|Resistance to winter sores||X|
correlated for gender
|Heart weight/body weight||X|
|Reduced side-effects of vaccine, correlated by gender||X|
To maintain control of vertically transmittable diseases from parent to offspring and to hinder egg-associated infection, a comprehensive health control through the whole production cycle is carried out. The health control are especially intensified during the last eight months before stripping of breeding fish by frequent test removals and autopsies of all dead fish. Breeding fish are routinely screened for carrier status for BKD bacteria, IPN virus, PD virus and ISA virus. Preventive health also includes the disinfection of eggs at different stages in order to hinder egg-associated infection.
Historically AquaGen has had a high level of research activity within fish health. We are initiators and participants in several research projects both in genetics and brood fish / egg production.