GenoMar receives Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) certification

Top view of GenoMar's Specific Pathogen Free certification tilapia facility in the Philippines.
Part of GenoMar’s SPF certified tilapia facility in the Philippines.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Republic of Philippines has granted the world´s first Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) certification to a tilapia producer.

The facility subject to certification is the GenoMar’s nucleus and grandparent site located at the Central Luzon State University in the Philippines where GenoMar has been operating a tilapia breeding program since 1999. The genetically improved fish populations reared in this facility represent the hub for further multiplication and distribution to other tilapia farms in Asia and Latin America.

SPF for three significant viral pathogens

The disease-free status covers the most significant viral pathogens in tilapia aquaculture worldwide: TiLV (Tilapia Lake Virus disease), VER (Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy, also known as VNN) and Megalocytovirus (Iridoviral disease).

The SPF certification process started around three years ago and during this period GenoMar´s facilities and fish populations were frequently audited. Samples from the fish were collected and analyzed by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) following the guidelines set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (founded as OIE) to meet the standards for disease-freedom certification.

Operation of PCR-machines that detect the presence of specific pathogens from fish tissue.

Maintaining the highest level of tilapia health, welfare and biosecurity are a foremost priority for GenoMar and is an integrated part of our strategy production.

Thea Luz G. Pineda, GenoMar’s Breeding Manager for Asia Pacific

Putting biosecurity first

GenoMar’s SPF certification means that companies and countries importing genetic material from this facility are in good health and have low risk of transferring these pathogens. GenoMar’s biosecurity and surveillance program and facilities will also be regularly audited going forward by the independent BFAR´s Aquatic Veterinary Services to maintain the SPF certification.

This certification is a recognition of GenoMar’s rigorous biosecurity and health management principles maintained over the years, and it is a great complement to the commercial value proposition of health-related products such as the Specific Pathogen Tolerant stocks, GENOMAR STRONG.

We are extremely proud of this achievement and want to congratulate all our old and existing colleagues for having secured an excellent health status on this iconic facility over the years.

Alejandro Tola Alvarez, CEO of GenoMar Genetics Group

The SPF certificate given by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Republic of Philippines can be seen here (PDF)

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