A new research project began in Europe this week, aimed at promoting selective breeding to improve aquaculture production.

The project, FISHBOOST, begin at the host institute of Nofima, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research. The project includes partners and partner organizations from nine European countries.

Trygve Gjedrem, a breeder with Nofima who developed some of the earlier family-based breeding programs, noted that in 2010 only 10 percent of world aquaculture production came from such breeding programs.

"I think this is a shame," he said.

Anna Sonesson, also with Nofina and a coordinator of the project, said she hopes the project will improve those numbers.

"We believe we will find some answers to what it takes to increase the 10 percent and guide aquaculture producers to implement selective breeding in their production," Sonesson said.

The European Commission is funding the five-year project, which will focus on six finfish species — Atlantic salmon, common carp, European sea bass, gilthead sea bream, rainbow trout and turbot.

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