Jón Atli Benediksson, Rector of the University of Iceland, and Jónas Jónasson, CEO of StofnFiskur.

University and genetics specialist join forces on sterile salmon project

The University of Iceland and breeding and genetics specialist StofnFiskur have signed an agreement on a project to research producing sterile farmed Atlantic salmon.

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Iceland-headquartered StofnFiskur has been part of the breeding and genetics division of Benchmark Holdings since 2015.

Titled “Controlling The Maturation In Farmed Salmon”, the project will be funded by Iceland’s Marine Aquaculture Environment Fund and will take place over three years. Two new positions at the university have been created.

A StofnFiskur spokesman said: “Salmon farming is an increasing concern in Iceland due to the potential environmental risk of mating between farmed and native salmon. The research teams will explore the opportunities in bringing the industry a step closer in producing sterile salmon, and will gain a deeper understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms behind the maturation process.

“The vision for salmon farming in Iceland needs to be sustainable, diverse, competitive and economically viable. Central to this development is the environmental sustainability of the industry, and introducing sterile salmon in farming helps to promote environmental conservation.”

Iceland-headquartered StofnFiskur has been part of the breeding and genetics division of Benchmark Holdings since 2015. It has partnered with the University of Iceland on several projects over the past eight years in the field of innate immunity.