Valorēs led a Canada-wide project on the development of aquaculture and the profitable marketing of Arctic char in Canada. This species of salmonid, present especially in the northern regions, has remarkable qualities both by its flavour and the delicacy of its flesh. Inland fish farming is an environment that suits him very well and this makes the Arctic char a perfect candidate for sustainable aquaculture.
The scientific activities of this project studied the different factors that must be mastered in order to obtain a viable and high quality aquaculture production of Arctic char.
The researchers looked at several areas:
- Understand the genetic adaptations that are common for this freshwater to brackish fish.
- Improved growth and yield of the species,
- Increase in the volume of eggs for reproduction.
- Development of genetic and genomic measurement tools to monitor and manage spawning fish,
- Control of sexual maturation which degrades the quality of the flesh,
- Fight against diseases and promote fish health,
- Development of nutrition and farming adapted and respectful of the environment,
- Finally, have the best aquaculture practices.
Arctic char has been defined as the most variable vertebrate on Earth (Klemetsen 2013). It evolves and adapts very quickly. Therefore, genetic studies remain of paramount importance for the management of this captive species. Our research aims to develop hybrid strains that will produce eggs which will then become high-quality individuals for the aquaculture industry. Our research program is already producing millions of the best performing eggs in the world.
Dr. Bardon-Albaret adds that crossbreeding is also important to allow genetic diversity and ensure vigorous health of the parents.
Gradually, we are able to breed healthy broodstock that produce quality eggs, which have rapid growth, late maturation and tolerance to salinity, important factors for a competitive, local and long-term production of Arctic char. safe in Canada.