Joining AquaIMPACT opened new doors for cooperation for Les Sources de l’Avance, a subsidiary company of Aqualande Group.

Rainbow trout breeding since 1992

Emmanuel Mazeiraud: “We initiated our rainbow trout breeding program in 1992 by strain testing and by the optimized within group mass selection procedure proposed by INRAE to improve growth.

DNA parentage assignment was introduced in the breeding program since the first generation to manage inbreeding and to introduce genetic evaluations to improve reproductive traits, resistance to cold bacterial disease and processing traits recorded by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Genomic selection has been applied since 2018 to improve efficiency of the breeding program.

Perceptions within our group and among the clients have confirmed the usefulness of the investments, but there has been a lack of scientifically based documentation.

AquaIMPACT to demonstrate the benefits of breeding

When joining the AquaIMPACT consortium, the evaluation of the realized genetic gain in fish traits was defined as a priority. As we had kept the initial non-selected population for this purpose, the AquaIMPACT consortium was a real opportunity to design such experiment with INRAE and SYSAAF geneticists and nutritionists. In addition, this allowed us to investigate interaction of genetics with a future ‘local’ feed that is free of soy, fish meal and fish oil ingredients.

We produced the two experimental genotypes (Generation 10, and a cross between Generation 10 and Generation 0) in triplicates that were fed with our commercial feed or the ‘local’ feed. The major result was that the selected fish exhibited +60 % body weight gain, +20 % higher feed conversion ratio (0.97 vs 1.24), and had higher protein retention without effect on healthy fatty acid composition in flesh. The selected fish also presented +4 % higher gutted yields with a similar high survival.

Results confirmed the benefits of investment in selective breeding

These scientifically based results are already helping us to refine our strategy of selection. They also provided for the first time a realized quantification of the environmental benefit that results from rearing of the selected fish. The improved use of nutrients and feed raw materials results in 20 % reduced environmental footprint.

This experiment was really innovative and fruitful for our company, as it confirmed our strategy to invest in selective breeding to improve large sized trout for our smoking process. It also scientifically documented the way genetic gain is transferred daily to our customers.”


Who’s writing?

I’m Emmanuel Mazeiraud, deputy CEO in charge of innovation in the Aqualand Group after 27 years of Technical Director responsible of the production and development in France and Spain. As genetic improvement is part of our strategy, I’m also very engaged in the management of SYSAAF organization (French association of Poultry, Aquaculture and Insects breeding companies) as actually Board member and its Past President 2014 to 2017. I’m mostly involved in the development of aquaculture strategies through sustainable practices and technology transfers.