Global tilapia giant Regal Springs signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Benchmark Genetics to support its breeding programs, the companies announced Friday.

The agreement secures Regal's access to Benchmark’s team of experts and advanced support systems for selective breeding programs, the groups said.

"This strategic collaboration is aligned with Regal Springs' commitments to develop premium "Naturally Better Tilapia" and to have a positive impact on the sustainability of tilapia aquaculture," said Laurent Develle, global head of sustainability at Regal Springs.

He said the collaboration will play an important role in improving the sustainability of its operations.

Tilapia accounts for around 10 percent of global finfish aquaculture production, with almost 7 million metric tons farmed worldwide.

Regal Springs has operations in Indonesia, Honduras and Mexico. The United States is the group's largest market.

Morten Rye, director of genetics at Benchmark Genetics, said the company's work with Regal will lead to improved animal welfare, higher production efficiency and lower costs.

Benchmark more than doubled its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the third quarter, the result of higher revenue, operational improvements and continuous cost control.

The company posted adjusted EBITDA of £4.4 million (€5.1 million/$6 million) in the quarter compared with £2.1 million (€2.5 million/$2.9 million) in the same period a year ago, while the group’s revenues were up 17 percent at £28.3 million (€33.1 million/$38.8 million).

Benchmark is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.