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user picture Kenny Johnson

AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. - Genetically Engineered Atlantic Salmon from Indiana Farm

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Midwest Aquaculture is on the rise.  AquaBounty Technologies, Inc., a land-based aquaculture company utilizing technology to enhance productivity, a few weeks ago announced that purchase orders have been received for the planned harvest of 5 metric tons of its genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon. The first harvest is scheduled to be conducted at the end of May from the Company’s Indiana farm.  

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  • Aquaculture
  • Sustainability

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Thanks for sharing this exciting development, Kenny! That is great news for endangered runs of wild Atlantic Salmon in New England and Canada. One of the biggest criticisms of farm-raised Atlantic Salmon raised in conventional ocean cages is that those salmon that are grown in such density are likely to parasites that can easily be transmitted to their endangered, wild  cousins. In addition escaped farm-raised Atlantic Salmon can breed with closely related wild Atlantic Salmon, but that lessens the genetic fitness of the offspring to survive in the wild. There are only 8 wild, reproducing runs of Wild Atlantic Salmon left in the U.S. and all are in Maine. The numbers of returning adults from that collective population segment has dwindled to just ~1,000 adults in recent decades, so Atlantic Salmon are critically endangered in the U.S. So raising farm-raised freshwater Atlantic Salmon is a big win for the conservation of wild Atlantic Salmon! 

I suspect this development is also a win for Indiana soybean farmers, since soybean meal is typically a huge component of fish feed in aquaculture. Let's hope that the public accepts this breakthrough product of GE freshwater salmon and there's demand for more soybeans and soybean products as a result. I'm sure that there are communities in Illinois and Iowa that would welcome additional AquaBounty aquaculture production facilities!

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