Researchers look at wild fish reproduction
Researchers at the UK’s University of East Anglia (UEA) believe farmed salmon should be sterilised to avoid breeding with wild fish.
According to the UEA research, while farmed salmon are genetically different to their wild counterparts, they are just as fertile. Since millions of farmed salmon escape into the wild, researchers say they could pose a threat to wild gene pools.
Professor Matt Gage, lead researcher, from UEA’s school of Biological Sciences, said: “Around 95% of all salmon in existence are farmed, and domestication has made them very different to wild populations, each of which is locally adapted to its own river system.”
“We know that recently-escaped farmed salmon are inferior to wild fish in reproduction, but we do not have detailed information on sperm and egg performance, which could have been affected by domestication. Our work shows that farm fish are as potent at the gamete level as wild fish, and if farm escapees can revive their spawning behaviour by a period in the wild, they clearly pose a significant threat of hybridisation with wild populations,” he added.
Some Norwegian rivers have recorded large numbers of farmed fish at present, as much as 50%, according to the research.
The UEA researchers say a viable solution is to “induce ‘triploidy’ by pressure-treating salmon eggs just after fertilisation”. According to the research, the resulting adult develops testes and ovaries but both are reduced and most triploids are sterile.
This research, Assessing risks of invasion through gamete performance: farm Atlantic salmon sperm and eggs show equivalence in function, fertility, compatibility and competitiveness to wild Atlantic salmon, was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Royal Society.
LATEST PRESS RELEASES
The Icelandic tech company Trackwell recently won an open tender to provide Vessel Monitoring System... Read more
Good quality wet weather gear is a must-have for any fishing professional. But finding the best gea... Read more
Good quality wet weather gear is essential when your job involves exposure to the elements, but if y... Read more
Future generations will need to produce more with less. Read more
Actions for investment and financing opportunities together with the day to day practicalities of ru... Read more
Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, the Minister of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland announced the winners... Read more