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DNA Tracing of Farmed Shrimp


IdentiGEN, a DNA tracing company based in Ireland, and Seafresh, a global seafood producer based in the United Kingdom and Thailand, have formed a partnership to identify a shrimp’s origins through DNA analysis.  Their TraceBack program provides assurance on the origin and quality of farmed shrimp.  Marks and Spencer, a major retailer of consumer goods in the United Kingdom, will market the partnership's first traceable shrimp.


A sample taken from a female shrimp can be used to trace all of her progeny (hundreds of thousands of shrimp) back to the farm of origin with unprecedented accuracy—through the use of “Natures Barcode” [DNA].


Ronan Loftus, IdentiGEN Co-Founder and Director, said, “This program will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”  He said recent scientific advances in DNA technology had made traceability deliverable at a large scale, enabling its expansion into the seafood sector.


The technology makes DNA sampling and the TraceBack of large numbers of shrimp—from the fork back to the pond—possible and cost efficient.  The system can also be used to trace cooked shrimp and further processed shrimp, where considerable co-mingling of shrimp from different sources can occur.


The program is currently being operated by Seafresh, which is producing the shrimp in Central America [Belize Aquaculture], processing them in the United Kingdom and selling them to Marks and Spencer, a major retailer of consumer products in the UK.


Seafresh CEO Lasse Hansen said: “We are delighted to partner with IdentiGEN and our customers in this exciting new era for shrimp traceability.  ...The unprecedented levels of supply chain transparency will help us convey more effectively to our customers and the consumer the care we take to meet the growing consumer expectations for a top-quality, sustainable and ethically sourced shrimp supply.”


IdentiGEN is a leading provider of DNA identification solutions to the international agri-food and seafood industries, with laboratory operations in Ireland, UK, USA and Canada.  The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.


Information: Ronan Loftus, IdentiGEN, Ltd., Block 2, Blackrock Business Park, Carysfort Avenue, Co. Dublin, Ireland (Phone 353-1-6770221, Webpage


Seafresh Group, Ltd., is a holding company that operates fully integrated supply chains from shrimp farms in Central America and Southeast Asia, where it operates shrimp hatcheries, farms and processing plants.  The company operates from its two regional headquarters located in Thailand and the UK.


Information: Lasse Hansen, Seafresh Group (Holdings) Limited, Atlantic House, Oxleasow Road, East Moons Moat, Redditch, Worcestershire, B98 0RE, United Kingdom (Phone +44-(0)-527-460460, Fax +44-(0)-527-519901, Email, Webpage


Sources: 1. Email to Shrimp News International from Cavanagh Communications.  Seafood DNA Traceability Programme to Guarantee Greater Levels of Transparency to the Consumer/DNA TraceBack Programme to Support Full Transparency within Commercial Shrimp Production.  March 20, 2017.  2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, April 1, 2017.


Information: Ronan Cavanagh, Communications Consultant, MPRII, Cavanagh Communications (Media Relations, Public Affairs, Communications Management), OfficePod 18, 6-7 Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland (Phone 00353-0-86-317-9731, Email, Webpage

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