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Comparative Performance of Local and Imported Atlantic Salmon Strains for Aquaculture and their Broodstock Development in a Biosecure Landbased System



The Atlantic Canada salmon farming industry has annual sales revenue in excess of $240 million. To be sustainable, this industry needs a disease free, reliable source of eggs and productive seedstock than can be grown in coastal farms. Recently, marine diseases, especially Infectious Salmon Anemia virus, have resulted in the destruction of most seawater cage maintained broodstock in New Brunswick. This problem prompted a move toward maintenance of land-based broodstock to supply eggs. Hatchery reared pedigreed smolts are transferred to either freshwater or ground seawater supplied shore based tank fields. These smolts are retained for two years and until selected individuals are spawned and the eggs returned to the smolt production hatcheries where they are on-grown to supply seedstock to the marine farms. This broodstock have the advantage of being isolated from Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus and other seawater disease exposure.

In this project, Dover Fish Farm (a disease free landbased broodstock site in PEI) is developing a pedigreed Saint John River (NB) stock to supply ISAv free ova to New Brunswick and else where. Furthermore, Dover Fish Farm has imported European pedigreed ova for comparative performance evaluation through to the brood stock stage. If superior performance is demonstrated, all female triploid sterile ova could be supplied to New Brunswick and other Maritime farming areas to increase industry competitiveness. Similar markets for diploid and triploid European strains could be developed in BC, and Chile.

This program's goal is to improve the competitiveness of the Atlantic coast salmon aquaculture industry by giving farmers better access to disease free ova as seedstock from the best strains. Furthermore, applying landbased broodstock methods reduces the risk of catastrophic broodstock loss due to disease in seawater cages. In doing this, collaboration between DFO and industry is enhanced and research commercialisation is accelerated.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2003 - 2007


Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Brian Glebe

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