New Brunswick arctic charr brood stock development, evaluation and selection program

MG-01-06-030

Description

Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) is an excellent candidate for intensive culture, and it shows good growth performance in cold water. Canada, owing to its geographic location and climate, has significant potential for production of this species.

In 1996, the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture developed a program for the evaluation and selection of arctic charr brood stock with a known pedigree, in partnership with the province's industry. In order to build on this initiative, increase the genetic gains transferable to the industry and expand the program to other provinces, financial assistance from Fisheries and Oceans Canada under the ACRDP was essential. A program of this scope has to be a joint initiative between industry, the provincial government and the federal government so that the private industry will be able to take advantage of it in the future. The industry's competitiveness depends largely on the selection program.

The long-term goal of the project is to develop a competitive arctic charr culture industry in eastern Canada. The principal objective of this project is to continue to develop a lot of arctic charr brood stock with a known pedigree and good growth performance during culture and able at maturity to produce juveniles adapted to local culture conditions. Adopting a selection protocol that guarantees the transfer of information from the industry to the program and in return optimize the transfer of genetic gains to the industry will attain this objective. Knowledge of the brood stock's pedigree will ensure the maintenance of genetic variability and the control of inbreeding. Whereas identification of the best performing families under real production conditions at the fish farmers' sites will make it possible to refine the selection protocol and develop high-performance gene pools adapted to the industry.

The benefits of such a program will be realized once the industry has access to lines of arctic charr offering superior zootechnical performance.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

Year(s)

2001 - 2006

Ecoregion(s)

Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Brian Glebe
Email: Brian.Glebe@dfo-mpo.gc.ca