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Benchmark Holdings PLC

Benchmark makes breakthrough discovery in combating infection in tilapia

"We believe that this breakthrough will allow the industry to expand production of this cost effective, high-quality, protein source to meet global demand for protein,” said chief executive Malcolm Pye.

Tilapia
Tilapia is the world's second most farmed fish

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) shares floated higher on Thursday following news it has made a breakthrough discovery in increasing genetic resistance to a common infection that affects tilapia fish.

The aquaculture and genetics firm has identified a quantitative trait locus, a small section of DNA, that is linked to higher levels of resistance to Streptococcus iniae, a bacteria that kills tilapia raised in fish farms.

The company has applied for a patent for the discovery.

READ: Benchmark shrugs off challenging shrimp market to deliver earnings growth

Tilapia is the world's second most farmed fish with 6.3 million tonnes of production in 2018 at an estimated value of £6.6bn, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. 

"We believe that this breakthrough will allow the industry to expand production of this cost effective, high-quality, protein source to meet global demand for protein,” said chief executive Malcolm Pye.

“We have seen first-hand how devastating Streptococcus is to the industry and with the introduction of this new technology we can drive improvements in sustainability and profitability for our customers."

In lunchtime trading, shares in Benchmark were 3% higher at 52p.

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Quick facts: Benchmark Holdings PLC

Price: £0.47

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £260.54 m
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