But what happens in the natural environment if transgenic fish escape?
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have studied transgenic fish on behalf of the EU and are urging caution:
-Until further notice transgenic fish should be bred in closed systems on land, says Fredrik Sundström at the Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
By furnishing fish with genes from other organisms, so-called transgenes, researchers have succeeded in producing fish that grow considerably faster or are more resistant to diseases. Fish can also be modified to cope better with cold, which facilitates breeding in colder conditions. There are major benefits for commercial fish farming as transgenic fish are expected to deliver higher production and better yields. However, transgenic fish can also entail risks and undesirable effects on the natural environment.More resistant to toxins
-It is probably due to the fact that genetically modified fish have a greater ability to compete and are better at converting food, says Fredrik Sundström.
-One option is to farm the transgenic fish on land, which would make escape impossible. At least fertile fish should be kept in a closed system, says Fredrik Sundström.
As of yet no country has permitted commercial farming of transgenic fish, but several applications for such operations are under consideration by authorities in both the USA and the EU.Contact:
Helena Aaberg | idw
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