Icy Waters Ltd is collaborating with CAT to select the best traits from its broodstock of Arctic char.

Arctic char farmer moves into ova-drive

Partnership with genetics firm CAT aims to accelerate breeding improvement program

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North American fish genetics expert, the Centre for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), has announced a breeding program partnership with on-land Arctic char farmer and ova supplier Icy Waters Ltd (IWL).

Located in Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon Territory, IWL has an integrated hatchery with a quarantined broodstock production unit and egg incubation room.

On-growing takes place in a fully separate tank farm next to a processing facility.

“With the rise of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), the benefits in growing char relative to other salmonids continues to gain interest, given their natural preference for higher densities,” said IWL general manager Doug Hotson in a press release.

Yukon Gold

“Icy Waters Ltd has been supplying Yukon Gold Ova to the global marketplace over the past 30 years and we have chosen the Centre for Aquaculture Technologies as a partner to help us implement a family-based breeding programme.

“The world of fish breeding and genetics is a complex and challenging task, and that is why we chose to work with the expert team at CAT.”

IWL manages two founder populations of broodstock. CAT will lead the company in selecting for the best traits from both stocks.

“CAT are delighted to be partnering with Icy Waters to optimise and accelerate their genetic improvement program,” said Klara Verblya, CAT’s vice president of genetics.

“With the growing appetite for Artic char, it is an exciting and opportune time for the CAT breeding team to partner with Icy Waters to accelerate the rate of genetic gains for key traits in Artic char to improve efficiency, production, and quality.”