Benchmark, the global aquaculture biotechnology business and AquaChile, the world’s 6 th largest salmon producer, signed an agreement today to form a breeding and genetics joint venture.
The joint venture, which will be named Benchmark Genetics Chile, will produce eggs in the Chaicas high- quality biosecure land-based facilities in Chile, with back-up from Benchmark Genetic’s land-based breeding operations in Iceland and genetic technology from Benchmark’s Akvaforsk Genetics in Norway. Benchmark Genetics Chile is expected to supply AquaChile’s entire Atlantic salmon egg requirement and other customers. The company will also market Coho Salmon and Rainbow Trout eggs adapted for Chilean conditions.
The new Company will combine leading-edge technology in salmon genetics and genomics from Benchmark
and AquaChile to drive progress in the future on many of the key traits to the Chilean Industry, including
resistance to diseases such as SRS and sea lice.
Commenting on the joint venture, Malcolm Pye, Benchmark CEO said: “We are very pleased to announce
today’s Chilean join venture; combining AquaChile’s existing high quality land-based production and locally
adapted genetics business with Benchmark’s leadership in salmon genetics and long-standing research in
the field. Together, we believe we will create a world class operation in Chile”.
“Genetics provide the best starting point for production in terms of disease resistance, production efficiency
and processing quality and yield. This agreement establishes a strong platform for Benchmark in Chile and
we look forward to working with the industry to support its sustainable development for the long-term future”.
Agustín Ugalde, CEO of AquaChile added: “This partnership will allow AquaChile to continue improving the
genetics of our fish and, with that, the productivity and overall performance in our core salmon and trout
farming business. We have found in Benchmark a partner with a solid track record and the right focus on the
main aspects of our business, such as health, nutrition and genetics. This transaction also validates our
efforts to date in building local capacity for the production of salmon eggs to the highest quality and
Benchmark challenges the status quo in aquaculture. Since 2000, Benchmark has consistently worked to
build a technology-rich platform in the areas of genetics, advanced nutrition, animal health and knowledge
services, to serve its customers, helping them take control of their biological environment to improve yield
and efficiency in a sustainable way.