The information was included in AquaBounty’s half-year results, in which the company also revealed that its net loss for the six-month period ended June 30 increased to $5.2 million from $4.1m in the corresponding period in 2017.
AquaBounty said the loss reflected pre-production costs at the Indiana farm and research and development activities at its Rollo Bay hatchery on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Advantage of speed
AquAdvantage salmon have a growth-hormone gene from chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), along with genetic regulatory elements from a third species, the ocean pout (Zoarces americanus). The genetic modifications enable the salmon to produce a continuous low level of growth hormone.
During the first half of 2018, the company also completed the sale of its second batch of AquAdvantage salmon from its farm in Panama.
AquaBounty previously announced that it had received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to raise AquAdvantage salmon at its on-land farm near Albany, Indiana. But the company is currently prevented from importing AquAdvantage eggs from Canada due to the existence of an “Import Alert” pending the FDA’s issuance of final labelling guidance for the product.
AquAdvantage salmon are sold without a distinguishing GM label in Canada but the company has indicated that it is fully prepared to comply with US labelling requirements for its product in order for the process to conclude in the near term. In the interim, it has commenced grow-out of non-GM salmon on Indiana.
AquaBounty chief executive Ronald Stotish said: “This stocking has allowed us to start operations at the facility, while we wait for the lifting of the import alert on AquAdvantage Salmon, which we anticipate in the second half of the year.”
AquAdvantage salmon is an Atlantic salmon that has been bioengineered to grow to market size in about half the time of a traditional farmed Atlantic salmon. It improves the economics of producing salmon in land-based contained facilities.