Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Can we identify escaped salmon by means of their DNA?

01.09.2004


Escaped salmon are a problem for the fish-farming industry. Is it possible to identify the fish-farm from which salmon have escaped by testing a sample of their DNA? Scientists at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen have been looking into the prospects of doing so.



Escapees are a major problem for fish farming, not only for the farmers who lose their fish, but also for stocks of wild salmon. This is because cultivated salmon have been bred to thrive in an artificial environment without predators, with plenty of food and without the need to migrate and orient over huge geographic distances. When these characteristics of farmed salmon are cross-bred into wild salmon stocks, we end up with salmon that are less well adapted to life in their natural environment, and such stocks suffer higher mortality rates.

For this reason, it has been suggested that natural DNA markers that are found in all salmon might be used to trace escapees back to the ongrowing farm from which they have escaped, so that future inspections could be concentrated on farms that tend to lose fish.


Breeding line identified with 95% certainty

In order to find out whether this is actually possible, scientists at the Institute of Marine Research carried out a pilot study. The first things that they found out were that there are major differences among breeding lines, and that they could identify the line that any given salmon comes from, to a certainty of better than 95%.

However, in the aquaculture industry, roe and fish are sorted, grouped and distributed from breeding populations to broodstock stations and on to hundreds of smolt farms, and then further on to hundreds more ongrowing farms. These logistical conditions mean that DNA profiles based on references from breeding plants or broodstocks would not be sufficient to identify the ongrowing farm from which an escaped fish had come.

Useful when many fish have escaped at the same time

If large numbers of escaped fish are discovered soon after they have escaped, however, DNA profiles can still identify the ongrowing farm that they came from, at least in some cases. In the pilot study, the scientists took samples from seven different deliveries of smolt to four ongrowing farms. With the aid of seven natural DNA markers it was possible to identify the fish farm from which seven out of ten “escapees” had come. This means that the method could be of interest in major escape episodes.

To the present day, there exists no professional monitoring system for aquaculture, in contrast to the monitoring programmes that are under way in Norway’s marine regions and in traditional fisheries.

Any method of identifying escaped fish would be dependent on a operational monitoring system capable of discovering escapees rapidly, sampling them and sending the samples for analysis.

Øystein Skaala, | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imr.no
http://www.imr.no/english/main

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>