Grieg NL signs “triploid” deal with Benchmark’s StofnFiskur

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Hatchery piece falls into place in integrated Grieg NL plan for Placentia Bay, Newfoundland

Bergen-based “start-up”, Grieg NL, has signed a long-term agreement with Benchmark Genetics for the delivery of “environmental” salmon roe, as the salmon-farmer awaits an “OK” from Canadian regulators to build an integrated fish-farming operation at Placentia Bay in Newfoundland, Canada.

Benchmark Genetics fish-health lead, Rudi Ripman Seim

Benchmark Holdings Icelandic business, StofnFiskur, is tasked with providing Grieg NL’s Newfoundland hatchery with 22 million ova, with deliveries to start in 2019. The salmon that grow from the roe are to be sterile salmon known as “triploids”, a genetic alteration aimed at neutralizing any genetic effects on wild salmon while also addressing public fears that local, wild Atlantics could change by contact with farmed-salmon escapees.

The StofnFiskur roe are genetically selected for growth, quality and increased resistance to a variety of diseases.

“We have been in close dialogue with Grieg NL since 2016 to assist them in obtaining licenses for production in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland,” Benchmark Genetics fish-health lead, Rudi Ripman Seim, said in a statement.

“We feel safe that everything is in place for Grieg NL to receive its concessions,” he said.

Grieg NL, meanwhile, is in the final stages of a court-ordered new environmental impact assessment for their planned development. Should all permissions then fall into place, then Benchmark Genetics says it will be the only foreign company able to supply salmon genetics to Canada..

“From Benchmark’s side, we are very proud that another major international breeder has chosen one of our breeding companies as supplier of genetic material,” Jan-Emil Johannessen, head of Benchmark Genetics, said in a statement.