30 years of the Swedish breeding program for Arctic charr! - an evaluation
Faster growth and altered seasonality will have implications on feeding management
In a new publication in Aquaculture (Oct 2018), SLU researchers conclude that the Arctic charr breeding program has resulted in faster growth of fish and also in changed seasonal growth capacity. These changes will have implications for feeding management. The authors present a feeding management model, based on the fish energy need, which takes seasonality into account.
"The Swedish breeding program for Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) has been running for 30 years and includes seven selected generations. In this study, we evaluated the differences in growth between the first generation of selected Arctic charr and the present generation. We demonstrate that not only has growth been improved through selective breeding but also that a change in the seasonal growth capacity has occurred. Selection has induced a high winter growth capacity, but the largest weight gain between generations was seen during summer. As a result of selective breeding, the production time to reach a slaughter weight of 600–700 g has been reduced by 10 months since the start of the breeding program in 1985, and improvements in the final weight have been of the magnitude of 11% per generation. To be able to keep up with the faster growth and altered seasonality of this strain, feeding management needs to be adapted. In this study, a model based on the theoretical energy need of the Arctic charr is presented, which makes it possible to make such adaptions in feeding management."