Alejandro Rojas told Aquaforum that AquaBounty was looking at producing transgenic trout as well as salmon. Photo: Francisco Soto.

AquaBounty adding trout to the transgenic menu

AquaBounty, the US-based company which grows genetically modified salmon, has begun work on the production of transgenic rainbow trout.

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The company’s chief operating officer, Alejandro Rojas, revealed the news during a presentation at the Aquaforum seminar at the Aquasur trade show in Chile last week.

Rojas also announced that the company is carrying out feasibility tests comparing transgenic fish with traditional fish in Brazil, Argentina and China.


Rojas began his presentation by highlighting that the company’s AquAdvantage transgenic salmon product took years of tests, studies and accreditations to produce and reach the market, “similar to the path used by laboratories’ pharmacists for the validation of their different drugs”.

The salmon reach harvest weight in 16-18 months and the feed conversion ratio (FCR) is up to 25% better than traditional fish, reaching values ​​of even 0.7 “and this is proven in several of our generations”, said Rojas.

The company has three facilities approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA): one for the production of eggs in Prince Edward Island, Canada; another for fattening up to harvest weight in Panama; and the last near Albany, Indiana in the US for the complete cycle.


However, it can neither sell its transgenic fish in the US nor import its eggs from Canada to Indiana until the FDA’s issuance of final labelling guidance for the product, which AquaBounty chief Ronald Stotish has previously said he anticipates will happen before the end of the year.

In the meantime, the Indiana facility is being used to grow traditional salmon.

So far AquaBounty only has permission to sell its transgenic fish in Canada, but Rojas said it was negotiating permits to sell fish for human consumption in Panama.