Genetics drive industry improvement
Genetic improvement is a critical component for driving improvement in aquaculture. Production related changes such as nutrition, hatchery management, or farm management are important and can yield improvements, but generally only genetic selection can yield consistent annual improvements in production efficiency.
To maximize genetic gain with minimal inbreeding, selection is conducted both among and within families. Using cutting edge genomic technology. Kona Bay broodstock is selected for a balance of traits to assure excellent performance under a variety of conditions at the hatchery and farm.
Continuous improvement on growth rate
The average daily gain (ADG) of Kona Bay stocks ranges from 0.3 to 0.4 g, depending on temperature, stocking density, water quality, feeds, and other factors. The growth rate is improving at a rate of approximately 10% per generation, under proper management and conditions.
High reproductive performance
Kona Bay families are selected for high reproductive performance. Performance varies with the use of live polychaete worms (not recommended at all if harvested from disease-affected areas). With live worms in the diet, females can produce 400,000 nauplii/spawn with 18-20% spawning/night. We may expect the hatchery production to drop to 250,000 nauplii/spawn with 15% spawning/night if female broodstock are fed with other diets without inclusion of live worms.
Kona Bay families are routinely exposed to standardized laboratory challenge trials to select for resistance to WSSV and EMS (EHP currently under consideration).
Advancing with Genomic Selection
In our breeding program, we use Genomic Selection to boost genetic progress with more accuracy. Thousands of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) or gene markers are used for pedigree reconstruction and trait identification and selection. With the expertise of Hendrix Genetics in the use of Genomic Selection for other (aquatic) species, its application in Kona Bay's breeding program is accelerating the genetic progress in general and for certain specific traits with lower heritability. We have put specific emphasis on using genomic selection for disease resistance and robustness traits, which allows maximum generational improvement while keeping the breeding nucleus and commercial animals free from exposure to diseases.