For 50 years Kames Fish Farming have grown premium Steelhead trout in the pristine, idyllic sea lochs of the Inner Hebrides. As the oldest family-run fish farm in Scotland, their goal is to create a truly superior product and they recently collected the Best Company Award at the Aquaculture Awards.
This month, Kames and Xelect (the Scotland-based aquaculture genetics company) announced a new strategic partnership to develop the first selective breeding programme for sea trout in the UK. The new breeding programme is designed to provide Kames with a major boost to the quality of their production – faster growing fish, with high survival rates, that thrive in their seawater environment.
The project started with an initial genetic evaluation of Kames’ broodstock to ensure that the selective breeding programme would be based on a highly diverse population, with strong potential for future gains.
At Xelect, the Programme Manager is Lidia de los Rios Perez: “In the next stage, Xelect will combine genetic analysis of the fish (“genotypes”) with real world performance data (“phenotypes”). By using the latest breeding programme management techniques and our highly sophisticated software, OptiMate, Xelect can then identify the optimal crosses to provide Kames with major trait improvements every generation”.
Xelect’s CEO, Ian Johnston, commented “We’re really delighted to be working with Kames. They are an institution in Scottish aquaculture, and whilst our customers are spread all over the world, we’ve always been committed to developing aquaculture in Scotland too.”
Kames’ managing director Neil Manchester, commented: “This is an exciting stage of development for Kames as we launch into the next fifty years with fully integrated production. Partnering with Xelect is an obvious choice as it not only preserves our Scottish provenance but offers access to a great team of specialists dedicated to enhancing our own unique strain of Steelhead trout ”.
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