News Release

Overcoming the ‘sterility paradox’

How new gene editing technology can solve it and benefit aquaculture

CAT genome editing sterility technology
Monosex sterile fish are good for farms but not hatcheries. The Center for Aquaculture Technologies solves this paradox with novel gene-editing technology.

By using gene editing advancements, researchers at the Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), figured out how to keep farmed fish from wasting energy on reproduction while still producing offspring.

In doing so, the CAT team unlocked the potential for substantial further progress in aquaculture. As a result, CAT, a privately held for-profit organization that uses its expertise in genetics and animal health to shorten the path to commercialization of technology benefiting aquaculture, is one of three finalists for the Global Seafood Alliance’s annual Global Aquaculture Innovation Award, as determined by GSA’s Standards Oversight Committee. The winner will be determined at GSA’s GOAL conference in Seattle next month.

When thinking of production in terms of one generation of fish, the ideal animal would not reproduce and be a single sex, with that varying by species. The tilapia industry, for instance, prefers males while salmonid producers favor females.

Such fish would not expend energy trying to reproduce, increasing final product output. Also, these fish couldn’t escape and breed with wild fish, eliminating biocontainment concerns.

However, those benefits would only last a generation, since reproduction is necessary to continue beyond that. Hence, the ideal animal seems an impossible foundation for an industry …

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