Sheffield firm invents tech to improve immune system of fish crop worth £6.3bn

Benchmark HoldingsBenchmark Holdings
Benchmark Holdings
Sheffield-based Benchmark is set to patent a new scientific discovery which could improve the immune system of the planet’s second most farmed fish.
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Yorkshire business news

The aquaculture business announced a significant discovery to increase genetic resistance to Streptococcus iniae infections in Tiliapia, one of the biggest challenges in the aquaculture industry. More than 6.3 million tonnes of Tilipia was produced in 2018 with an estimated commercial value of £6.6 bn.

Benchmark’s team of geneticists have identified a significant quantitative trait locus (QTL), a small section of DNA, which is linked to increased levels of resistance to Streptococcus iniae. The identified QTL will be used for commercial production of tilapia fry marking the first time that a significant QTL for disease resistance is used in commercial breeding.

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Malcolm Pye, CEO, said: “This is a major step forward for the tilapia industry. It is the result of Benchmark’s many years of investment and commitment to bringing state-of-the-art breeding technology to this important farmed species.

“We believe that this breakthrough will allow the industry to expand production of this cost effective, high-quality, protein source to meet global demand for protein.

“We have seen first hand how devastating Streptococcus is to the industry and with the introduction of this new technology we can drive improvements in sustainability and profitability for our customers.”

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