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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:00 am

Spawning a new way of breeding salmon

What do you get when you cross a Chinook salmon gene and a DNA sequence from an ocean pout?

“A salmon that grows to market size about twice as fast as its natural counterpart,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Coming, perhaps, to your dinner table in 2020.

The ocean pout is an eel-like fish that lives in the northwest Atlantic Ocean; the Chinook is the largest variety of Pacific salmon.

A biotechnology company, the Tribune reported, has used them to produce the first genetically engineered animal to be approved for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Connoisseurs of genetically modified cuisine will be delighted to know the first eggs of the new species will be hatched and grown for next year's market in a facility in Albany, Indiana – about 60 miles south of Fort Wayne.

The faster-growing salmon may prove a boon to the emerging superbusiness of aquaculture.

“Because this fish grows faster, you can use the same facility and produce twice as much product, and the overhead cost is halved,” William Muir, a professor emeritus at Purdue University, told the Tribune. “That's really where we're going with it: Can we produce fish more cheaply?”