Our main partner is the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA), former Directorate for Nature Management (DN). The Norwegian government has committed to a comprehensive biodiversity strategy with the aim of conserving as much as possible of the genetic diversity of wild Atlantic salmon populations in Norway. Since the start of this effort, broodfish have been collected from a number of rivers in Norway, and were a natural (or man-made) disaster to happen and decimate the wild stocks, individuals are available for re-stocking.
We are able to offer an alternative conservation strategy to the traditional costly stocking of live fish in tanks. By implementing use of cryopreserved milt in addition to keeping live fish, genes from more individuals can be preserved from each original population. Long term, the use of cryopreserved milt will reduce the number of live broodfish needed. Short term, use of cryopreserved milt, combined with genotyping, will make it easier to control inbreeding while preserving a greater genetic diversity. Cryogenetics’ methodology guarantees long-term stability of the gene bank and good post-thaw fertilization rates when multiplying stocks.
Being the only company in the world experienced with commercial-scale cryopreservation of fish milt, we have been given the responsibility of managing NEA’s wild salmon cryobank with invaluable salmon milt samples collected from Norwegian salmon rivers through the years. So far, this cryobank comprises sperm samples from more than 6,200 individual males from 172 populations.
Cryogenetics is currently involved in conservation projects in other countries, mainly involving salmonids. Our latest project, in collaboration with Veneto Agricoltura in Italy, has proven that extensive use of cryopreserved milt is an essential part of a successful conservation strategy to maintain the genetic diversity and ensure the survival of this species for future generations.