Our Fish

The history of the Stofnfiskur Stock goes back to the early nineteen eighties when Norwegian ova were imported to Iceland. The first import of eyed ova from Norway was from the Mowi stock in 1981 by a joint venture between Mowi from Norway and Isno from Iceland. In 1983, the Norwegian company NorAqua imported eyed ova from Norway to Iceland for three years. The eggs were shipped to the company Islandslax (Iceland salmon), owned by NorAqua and Icelandic investors.

The ova were imported from the Norwegian broodstock stations Bolaks, Svanøy Havbruk and Måløy. In one of the years ova were brought in from Havlaks AS. The salmon stock from Bolaks and Måløy was the Norwegian stock Bolaks. 

The stock from Svanøy was from the Norwegian breeding company Aquaforsk at Sunndalsøra, as Svanøy at that time was one of the Norwegian breeding program’s test stations and used the genetic material for broodstock production. 

The Bolaks stock at that time showed the best performance at Islandslax, and fish from the Bolaks stock dominated as broodstock for the future generations.

Establishment of the Stofnfiskur stock

In the fall 1991, Stofnfiskur started to gather males and females from the original imported ova. This was both from the Mowi stock at Isno and a mixture of stocks from Islandslax. At Islandslax no attempt was made to hold the imported strains separate, so the males and females used as broodstock were a mixture of best performers from all the stocks. 

Controlled mixture

Altogether 426 females and 142 males were collected over a six year period from the two companies. This is the baseline material of the Stofnfiskur stock distributed over six year classes. 

As selection has taken place (for the first time in 1995) a controlled mixture of stocks was made between the Mowi and the Bolaks strain. Furthermore two, three and four sea-winter salmon were mixed to secure a broad genetic base for future generations. Information on stock crosses and year-class crosses are kept in Stofnfiskur’s database.

Faster growth – increased quality

Stofnfiskur’s nucleus is composed of more than 1000 families, where 200-300 are made each year. The multitrait family program enables selection of many different traits simultaneously. This family program is supported by extensive works in genomics. The most important traits selected today are:

  • Faster growth
  • Low proportion of maturation
  • Increased carcass quality
  • General robustness through our domestication process
  • Increased survivals towards disease IPN, PD and SRS
  • Monitoring and maintaining excellent harvest quality

It is essential to secure and maintain a broad genetic variability in a breeding program where we secure low rate if inbreeding each generation <1%. This allows long-term selection response and stepwise inclusion of new traits in the breeding goal.

Increasing productivity

Stofnfiskur uses a combination of traditional breeding value estimations for all important traits as well as modern marker assisted selection to select the best males and females for production purposes.

Selective breeding is the best way of increasing productivity in aquaculture. Selective breeding in aquaculture is designed mainly on the basis of general knowledge and experience from selection programs in traditional farmed animals.

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