25 years of selective breeding

Building on 30 years experience

Stofnfiskur´s production of high quality Atlantic salmon eggs, fry, parr and smolt is built on a unique selective breeding program.The products are developed by world class specialists in genetics, in a disease free environment not found anywhere else in the salmon farming areas of the world. The history of rearing of Atlantic salmon in Iceland goes back to 1941, when farmers tried hatching and rearing of salmon juveniles. 

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In 1961 the research station at Kollafjordur was established. The main purpose was to produce salmon fry and smolt for releases into rivers to increase angling catches as well as rearing to market size.

Land based farms
In 1980 there was a growing interest in rearing salmon to market size in Iceland, as fish farming in Norway and Scotland was established with good results. 

But rearing of salmon in net pens around Iceland was difficult because of poor weather conditions. Still, there was an interest to use the unique geothermal heat to enhance the growth to market size. Therefore land based farms where established in Iceland.

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From internal production to export

Stofnfiskur was founded in March 1991. Initially, the main emphasis was on breeding and selection for ocean ranching of Atlantic salmon.

Norwegian ova
Experience from the rearing in Iceland using Icelandic stocks showed good growth, but high grilse rate (maturity before market size was reached). In Norway, the Norwegian salmon stocks showed good growth potential and low grilse rate. Therefore it was decided to import eyed ova from Norway to Iceland. This Norwegian ova is the origin of what now is known as the Stofnfiskur Stock.


Growing export

In the 1990s there was a growing demand for salmon egg production from farming operations throughout the world. By 1995, four years after the founding, Stofnfiskur was exporting eggs to Chile and Ireland. Stofnfiskur is still the only company in the world with authorization to export Atlantic Salmon Ova to Chile.

Outstanding environment
From the beginning, the broodstock has been reared indoor in large land based farms. Superb sea- and freshwater is pumped up from geothermal- and freshwater boreholes, ensuring no contact with wild fish, and the best disease free environment for farmed fish in the world.

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New investments

During summer 2001 and winter 2002 the company produced more than 40 million eggs. In the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 the production gradually dropped due to loss of two year-classes at the farm Kalmannstjörn. But during these years the breeding work continued. In 2005, Stofnfiskur decided to invest in the new farm at Vogavik, enabling the company to grow and increase production

Significant growth
The production was gradually increased in the summer and fall of 2007 to 16 million. In summer and fall of 2008 the production was increased to an estimated 60 million, and to 80-90 million summer and fall of 2009.  In 2015, Stofnfiskur produced and sold an estimated 100 million eggs. 

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2014 - 2015

International ownership

In 2014, Stofnfiskur became a part of Benchmark Breeding and Genetics (BBG), a leading international breeding company in developing, producing and selling salmon ova. The Norwegian Company SalmoBreed, Akvaforsk Genetics Center and the American producer of tilapia, Spring Genetics, are also part of BBG. SalmoBreed´s genetic material has been produced since the seventies and is based upon the well-known strains of Bolaks and Jakta.

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Lumpfish all year round

In spring 2014 Stofnfiskur, in cooperation with the Marine Institute in Iceland, started production of lumpfish. Lumpfish fingerlings have proven to be very successful in eating sea lice of farmed Atlantic salmon. The fish has good tolerance towards variable farming temperatures, with high survival and good appetite for sea lice.

The main activities in Iceland take place in Stofnfiskur‘s farm in Hafnir. The farm is specially built for farming marine species. The goal is to deliver lumpfish fingerlings all year round in 2016.

September 2020

StofnFiskur won 'Aquaculture Supplier of the Year' at the 2020 Aquaculture Awards!

It is a great honor for our work in Scotland to be recognized by the industry. We have a strong commitment to the quality of the product and our service and a fantastic team to help deliver this.

Ova Different Stages
January 2021

StofnFiskur hf changed its legal name to Benchmark Genetics Iceland hf

StofnFiskur hf changed its legal name to Benchmark Genetics Iceland hf as a step in the single-brand strategy of the Benchmark Holdings plc group. StofnFiskur still remains the brand to be used for the Atlantic salmon breeding programme and strain operated by the Icelandic company.

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Quality and expertise

Today, Benchmark Genetics Iceland hf can deliver disease-free, fast growing and robust salmon eggs worldwide to the fish farming industry every week of the year. This enables the customers to buy ova at the best possible time for their farming operations.

The company´s main activities are salmon ova production, fingerling production, selective breeding of Atlantic salmon, research and development, and domestic and international specialist advice on egg production and supply. The company has a production capacity of 200 million eggs.

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