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Canadian Researchers Embark on C$9.9M Coho Salmon Genomics Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Non-profit research organization Genome British Columbia announced an effort by Canadian investigators to use genomics to revitalize the commercial fishery for Coho salmon, a once-abundant species of fish that experienced significant declines in the 1990s.

With the support of C$9.9 million ($7.5 million) in grant money from Genome BC and other groups including Genome Canada, a team led by scientists from Simon Fraser University and Laval University aim to sequence the Coho salmon genome and study the genetic diversity of thousands of the fish from different geographic regions.

The data are expected to help efforts to sustain the wild Coho salmon fisheries, improve hatchery production of the species, and increase the productivity of British Columbia's Coho salmon land-based aquaculture industry. 

"This project will deliver the genomic resources and tools required for better stock identification, improved fisheries management, a more effective hatchery system, and growth of the nascent land-based Coho salmon aquaculture industry in Canada," Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC, said in a statement.

Funding for the effort comes as part of a C$93 million investment by the Canadian government in genomic research projects related to agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture, and is being provided under Genome Canada's 2014 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition.