GenoMar AS was founded in Oslo, Norway in 1996 and is today one of the world’s leading life science aquaculture companies with special focus on tilapia. The company is involved in most steps in the value chain, from selective breeding through hatchery production, grow-out, to verification of origin.
In breeding, GenoMar is developing new generations continuously. Multiple traits are targeted in the selection program such as improved growth, disease resistance, improved feed conversion, and improved fillet yield. GenoMar is using so-called genetic markers (DNA based micro satellites) to maintain pedigree information and thereby optimizing the selection scheme and avoiding inbreeding.
It is important to emphasize that GenoMar is not involved in genetic manipulation in any form. The breeding system is based on selective breeding, assisted with genetic markers for pedigree information and historic tracking of family specific traits.
Over the past years, GenoMar has constantly updated its Quality Assurance Manual, including feeding tables, manuals and procedures for handling ponds, water treatment, feeding procedures etc. Recently the company invested in a new pond-based testing facility in the Philippines and another research facility in Singapore. These facilities will be used for benchmarking of genetic improvements, development of adapted feeding regimes and different trials related to Best Farming Practices.
On the island of Hainan in southern China, GenoMar operates a large hatchery, producing some 280 million tilapia fry per year. This hatchery supplies a large part of the tilapia industry in southern China with superior quality tilapia fry, the GenoMar Supreme Tilapia.
In Malaysia, GenoMar is operating a large integrated tilapia farm on Lake Temenggor. The operation will produce up to 20,000 tonnes of a verifiably traceable tilapia, or “Trapia”, at full capacity.
In connection with this fish farm, GenoMar participates in a joint venture with a local fish processor to build a filleting and freezing capacity locally. The facility, which will be operational by June 2009, will have a total capacity to process 10,000 tonnes of raw material per annum.
Through its subsidiary Genopass Pte Ltd in Singapore, GenoMar is involved in providing the fish farming industry with a verifiable traceability system which uses DNA technology to verify the origin of individual fish and fish products.