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AquaCon signs egg supply deal with Benchmark Genetics


November 4, 2020
By Nestor Arellano


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A digital rendering of AquaCon's planned RAS facilities in Maryland. (Photo: AquaCon)

Aquaculture genetics supplier Benchmark Genetics has signed a five-year contract to supply almost 40 million ova to the land-based salmon farm that  AquaCon AS is planning to build in Maryland, U.S.A.

The ova will come from Benchmark’s Icelandic company, StofnFiskur.

Security of supply was an essential factor in choosing the right supplier for its planned recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in the United States, according to the chief executive officer for  Norway-based  AquaCon.

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We have chosen to secure genetics at an early stage, as we consider ova as a key strategic success factor of our ambitious growth plans,” said Pål Haldorsen, CEO of AquaCon.

He said Benchmark Genetics satisfied AquaCon’s requirements for the security of supply, biosecurity and genetic traits adapted to land-based RAS farming.

“Our production plan presupposes regular deliveries of ova throughout the year, and Benchmark Genetics has a production model for land-based broodstock that makes us confident that we will receive deliveries following our plans,” Haldorsen explained.

Benchmark Genetics has been producing land-based broodstock and ova in Iceland since the early 1990s. The company has long-standing experience with land-based salmon farming worldwide.

“As a leading supplier to land-based farming, we have gradually gained comprehensive experience in securing deliveries to destinations all over the world,” said  Geir Olav Melingen, commercial director at Benchmark Genetics. “Since we keep our broodstock on land and thereby have full control over the maturation and spawning, we are in the position to produce and deliver ova to customers every single week of the year. The term ‘egg season’ is outdated with us.”

StofnFiskur’s land-based facilities is located in the southwest shore of Iceland. The facility’s intake water, both freshwater and seawater, comes from boreholes and is entirely pathogen-free.

“The unique location and production model makes us confident that we can deliver eggs that have the highest biosafety standard to AquaCon,” said Melingen.