Fish from the best rivers

SalmoBreeds’ activities are based on a more than 40 years of efforts to produce the best breeding stock.

In 1975 the farming company AS Bolaks started collecting genetic material from the best Norwegian salmon rivers. So did the farming company Jakta Fiskeoppdrett in 1979. These sources have formed the basis for SalmoBreeds present breeding program.

In 1985, the Norwegian Fish Farmers breeding center established in Kyrksæterøra, Sor-Trondelag, an organized system for breeding and sale of roe. As a result of the bankruptcy of Fish Farmers Cooperative (FOS), the genetic material was transferred in 1992 to the Norwegian Salmon Breeding (NLA).

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A new company

In the years up to 1999 NLA was more or less predominant in Norway in the production and delivery of genetic material to the aquaculture industry. There were many roe producers along the coast, and several wanted an alternative company. This led to the foundation of SalmoBreed in 1999.

SalmoBreed AS was officially founded by Bolaks, Osland Havbruk and Akvaforsk Genetics Center (AFGC). During two years Erfjord Stamfisk and Sjøtroll were also part of the owner group.

Family-based breeding
In 1999 the work with family-based breeding gained momentum, based on the well-known stock from Bolaks and thereafter also Jakta from 2002.
The family-based breeding program has shown very good results in growth, late maturity and resistance against disease and sea lice. 

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QTL against IPN

SalmoBreed has developed a comprehensive database with information from years of calculations and test results. Thanks to systematic and constantly improving knowledge SalmoBreed could in 2010 offer roe which were specific resistant to the viral disease IPN(infectious pancreatic necrosis) and this disease problem disappeared.

Faroe islands

SalmoBreed signed in 2010 an agreement with Fiskaaling. This is a state-owned company in the Faroe Islands that uses eggs from SalmoBreed’s stock to produce roe. Every year eggs from elite lines produced by SalmoBreed in Norway are sent to the Faroe Islands. These eggs are used for the production of brood stock, which will create a new roe generation three to four years later. This roe goes into production. Faeroese fish farmers have in recent years delivered very good results.

Breeding And Genetics

International cooperation

SalmoBreed took part in a worldwide collaboration where all salmon genes - around three billion - were mapped. A painstaking work that was completed in 2014.

This has made possible to use genomic tools to produce roe that are, among other things, resistant to disease and sea lice.

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New ownership structure

In 2014 a new ownership structure in SalmoBreed was needed to prepare further growth and capacity in R & D, product development, production, sales and marketing.

Work on genetics and breeding has become more advanced. There are increasing demands for finding the right properties. This specialization is very costly, and it was important to get a resourceful owner who could make big investments so SalmoBreed remained a leading company.

The companies Erfjord Stamfisk, Sjøtroll Havbruk, Bolaks, Akvaforsk Genetics Center and Osland Havbruk therefore agreed to sell their shares to Benchmark Breeding & Genetics. The company is owned by Benchmark Holdings is listed in England, and delivers a range of products and services to aquaculture industry such as vaccines, veterinary services and feed ingredients.

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New Breeding Centre

In 2015 SalmoBreed Bolaks’ bought a plant in Lønningdal in Os municipality outside Bergen. This was previously a research station for a feed company. Here a modern and future-oriented salmon breeding centre is being established.

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Ova delivery every week

SalmoBreed’s license production of roe in Norway is done at present at Bolaks, Erfjord Stamfisk and Salten Stamfisk.

SalmoBreed delivers roe to Norway, United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands, as well as a smaller volume to European countries such as Denmark and Poland.

Production year round

Thanks to the unique access to both fresh and salt water with stable temperatures, there is no danger of contamination and Stofnfiskur can produce roe all year round. This roe can be exported to Norway, while the Icelandic authorities do not allow the import of roe from abroad.

Customers now want more eyed-roe in summer and autumn. In Iceland one can control the production because everything takes place inland, and SalmoBreed can thus deliver outside of the Norwegian season that traditionally lasts from November to June.

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The organisation is growing

SalmoBreed Lønningdal is in full operation and is now housing the entire breeding nucleus for SalmoBreed. 350 unique families are in place, and in addition, smolt is produced for new yearclasses of broodfish. A total of about 300,000 smolt is produced annually, as well as fry directly to customers.

The land-based broodstock site SalmoBreed Salten, owned by SalmoBreed together with Salten Stamfisk, is under construction in Sørfold municipality. With the capacity to produce 150 million ova per year, recycling technology and the highest levels of biosecurity, the plant will be unique in the industry.

SalmoBreed has established the J.V company Salmar Genetics AS together with Salmar. Salmar Genetics produces roe with genetic material from Rauma Stamfisk and SalmoBreed, and the breeding program is run by Akvaforsk Genetics.

The value of shared ownership now begins to become visible in Benchmark; Collaboration with BBG’s sister companies results in new products and delivery capability throughout the year for SalmoBreed.

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Restructure of Benchmark Genetics

Benchmark Genetics is now headed by Jan-Emil Johannessen, who has taken on this role in addition to his position as CEO of SalmoBreed AS. All the division’s Atlantic salmon activities (SalmoBreed AS, StofnFiskur hf and Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS ) will now be integrated into one organisation. To support Jan-Emil, Jónas Jónasson, CEO of StofnFiskur has been appointed Head of Production, responsible for all production sites across the Division. Morten Rye, CEO of Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS will lead the genetics team across the divisional boundaries as Director of Genetics. Our breeding programmes for Nile Tilapia and L. Vannamei shrimp will now share support functions, including management roles for Marketing, Finance, Fish Health, QMS & IT, Technical support and Genetics. 

May 2018

New products launched

We have restructured our product range and are offering new product packages from the 2018/2019 egg season. The products are as follows: SalmoProtect (QTL-IPN and GS-Lice) og SalmoSelect (QTL-IPN, GS-Lice, GS-SWG + alternative 1: GS-PD, alternative 2: GS-ISA + optionals QTL-CMS, GS-AGD and GS-Quality). The new traits in the SalmoSelect package are QTL-CMS giving improved protection against Cardiomyopatisyndrome, caused by the Myocarditis-virus. We have also put extra emphasis on seawater growth, adding genomic selection for this trait on top of the phenotypic selection we already do for the breeders. This should give an extra boost in growth in the seawater phase. 

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May 2019

Grand opening of SalmoBreed Salten

Wednesday 22 May 2019, we held the official opening of SalmoBreed Salten, the World’s most advanced land-based production facility for broodstock and Atlantic salmon ova. The sun was shining, and the 250 guests who came from all parts of the World enjoyed the site visit, local food and the beautiful Norwegian scenery. The SalmoBreed Salten facility is located in Sørfjordmoen in Nordland, next to the national park Rago. The project, launched back in 2010, was completed as a result of Benchmark becoming the owner of SalmoBreed AS in 2014. SalmoBreed Salten holds the highest standard of biosecurity. The site’s four separate zones can run as RAS, re-use or flow-through systems. The annual capacity is 150 Million ova, and as the production is on land, we can manipulate the seasons and thereby deliver ova every week of the year.

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September 2019

SalmoBreed AS and Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS becomes Benchmark Genetics Norway AS

Benchmark owned Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS, and SalmoBreed AS have merged to establish Benchmark Genetics Norway AS. The combined organization will further strengthen the Benchmark’s offering to deliver sustained genetic improvements and support aquaculture producers to increase quality, yield, health, and welfare.

The merged company has 36 employees, of which more than 20 hold a Ph.D. or Masters degree. The headquarters of Benchmark Genetics Norway AS is in Bergen.

Going forward, the company will continue to provide Atlantic salmon ova and advanced genetic improvement services and build upon the combined knowledge of the teams of experts in internal and external R&D projects. Benchmark Genetics Norway AS will maintain the brand names SalmoBreed and Akvaforsk Genetics.

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