Brazilian producers of the native species tambaqui will be offered the benefit of using of a service that allows them to determine the purity and pedigree of their fish.

Tests, which will be initially offered on a limited basis at a cost of BRL 120 (€13.07-26.14/$14.45-28.70), have been developed by Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa to determine whether fish are pure or hybrid.

While tambaqui for many years has been harvested in the wild to use in reproduction, this type of information is important for producers in the breeding and development of fish, Embrapa researcher Alexandre Caetano said.

"Cross breeding between close relatives such half brothers, brothers or cousins can cause losses of 25 percent of fingerlings, and 30 percent of survivors to the fattening phase," he said.

The project is backed by aquaculture trade body Peixe BR, a partner in the project.


Consanguinity refers to marriage or a reproductive relationship between two closely related individuals. The degree of relatedness between two individuals defines the proportion of genes shared between them. Offspring of consanguineous couples are at increased risk of disorders.

"We have seen in recent years a lot of consanguinity among these animals, including pure bred animals. Sometimes a producer believes he has a tambaqui crossed with a pacu, patinga and with this fishes' genetic quality and technical performance are diminishing," Peixe BR CEO Francisco Medeiros told IntraFish.

"This work allows fingerling producers to understand what they are dealing with so that they can better manage cross breeding operations."

Brazilian aquaculture production increased 4.5 percent to 722,560 metric tons in 2018. Native species made up 40 percent of Brazilian aquaculture production last year.