The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Republic of Philippines has granted the world´s first Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) certification to a tilapia producer. The facility subject to certification is the GenoMar’s nucleus and grandparent site located at the Central Luzon State University in the Philippines where the company has been operating a tilapia breeding program since 1999.

The disease-free status covers the most significant viral pathogens in tilapia aquaculture worldwide: TiLV (Tilapia Lake Virus disease), VER (Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy, also known as VNN) and Megalocytovirus (Iridoviral disease).

The genetically improved fish populations reared in the mentioned facility represent the hub for further multiplication and distribution to other tilapia farms in Asia and Latin America.

A process that has started three years ago

The SPF certification process started around three years ago and during this period GenoMar´s facilities and fish populations were frequently audited. Samples from the fish were collected and analyzed by PCR following the guidelines set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (founded as OIE) to meet the standards for disease-freedom certification.

Thanks to the GenoMar’s SPF certification the companies and countries importing genetic material from this facility are in good health and have low risk of transferring these pathogens. GenoMar’s biosecurity and surveillance program and facilities will also be regularly audited going forward by the independent BFAR´s Aquatic Veterinary Services to maintain the SPF certification.

“Maintaining the highest level of tilapia health, welfare and biosecurity is a foremost priority for GenoMar and is an integrated part of our strategy”, said Thea Luz G. Pineda, GenoMar’s Breeding Manager for Asia Pacific.

Rigorous biosecurity and health management principles

From the company assured that this certification is a recognition of GenoMar’s rigorous biosecurity and health management principles maintained over the years, and it is a great complement to the commercial value proposition of health-related products such as the Specific Pathogen Tolerant stocks GenoMar Strong.

We are extremely proud of this achievement and want to congratulate all our old and existing colleagues for having secured an excellent health status on this iconic facility over the years”, said Alejandro Tola Alvarez, CEO of GenoMar Group.

Is useful to remember that GenoMar Genetics Group is an international aquaculture breeding and distribution company focusing on the global tilapia markets. From their breeding centers in Norway, Asia, and Latin America, they manage innovation and technology programs for some of the most recognized independent brands in the industry such as GenoMar, Aquabel and AquaAmerica. 

Our expanding production infrastructure enables to quickly disseminate genetic progress and supply year-round, high-quality stocks to our clients contributing to a sustainable and profitable tilapia industry,” they say.


State delegation from Malaysia and visit to Vietnam

On another subject, GenoMar Genetics has reported that some days ago a state delegation from Malaysia visited the company facilities at the head office in Oslo, Norway. There, a memorandum of understanding to support the aquaculture development in the Pahang state, Malaysia was sign. From the company, they say: “Thanks for the interest in our contribution of tilapia genetics to the aquaculture industry”.

With this news, GenoMar’s strong activity in the Asian region becomes more than evident. But as if that were not enough, the announcements of the company’s work in the Philippines and Malaysia adds to a recent visit to Vietnam.

This time, Tola Alvarez have visited for first time the operations, team and customers of their new subsidiary GenoMar Genetics Vietnam. There, “the team lead by Trung Nguyen Van have been able to build a fantastic hatchery operation, develop a highly committed and intellectually curious team and build brand recognition for our products in the market in record time and in the middle of a pandemic situation”, he assured.


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