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Benchmark Hlgs PLC (BMK)


Wednesday 08 November, 2017

Benchmark Hlgs PLC

Development of disease-resistant shrimp

RNS Number : 8495V
Benchmark Holdings PLC
08 November 2017


Benchmark Holdings plc


("Benchmark", the "Company" or the "Group")


Development of disease-resistant shrimp for the Asian market


Benchmark, the aquaculture health, nutrition and breeding and genetics business, is pleased to announce that it has developed specific pathogen resistant ("SPR") shrimp to address  issues facing the Asian market, the largest and fastest growing market for shrimp. The Company will soon commence field trials in the region and will provide an update in due course. This is a breakthrough development which, combined with our leading market position in the industry, creates a very attractive growth opportunity for Benchmark.


Asia produces more than 2.66m tonnes of vannamei shrimp, worth around $13bn with the total value of the market growing by an average 7 per cent per annum. Diseases, including White Spot (WSSV)  and AHPND (previously known as Early Mortality Syndrome - EMS), have each resulted in losses valued at billions of dollars per year for the global shrimp industry. The Asian shrimp industry alone incurred a loss of $22.5bn from AHPND over the period 2009 to 2016.


Benchmark's SPR shrimp have proven resistance to major diseases including White Spot, Taura (TSV), NHP (Necrotising Hepatopancreatitis), IHHNV and vibriosis. Early indications also suggest that our stocks are resistant to AHPND.


Benchmark's breakthrough is the result of over 20 years experience in our breeding and genetics teams in Norway and Colombia, state of the art breeding technologies and genomic selection tools.  It is a good example of the collaboration across the Group. Combined with our leading market position in the Asian shrimp market following the acquisition of INVE,  this represents a very attractive opportunity for the Company.


Malcolm Pye, Benchmark CEO, commented:


"Over a period of 20 years our teams in Colombia and Norway have developed unique stock that are SPR resistant to a number of the key shrimp diseases. We are now turning to the commercialisation phase of this technology taking it into the major shrimp production markets around the world. It's an example of where you can apply modern technology to an industry challenged with major problems to create a breakout moment and resolve some of the fundamental issues that they are facing".


"We have been able to transfer the insights we learned from salmon genetics to shrimp. Shrimp is ideal for a genetic breeding program because of the size of the market, the short cycle and their high reproductive capacity ".



- Ends -



For further information, please contact:


Benchmark Holdings plc                                               Tel: 020 7920 3150

Malcolm Pye, CEO

Ivonne Cantu, Investor Relations and Corporate Development Director

Rachel Aninakwah, Communications


Numis                                                                                   Tel: 020 7260 1000

Michael Meade / Freddie Barnfield (NOMAD)

James Black (Corporate Broking)


Tavistock                                                                             Tel: 020 7920 3150

Sophie Praill



Notes to Editors:


Benchmark challenges the status quo in aquaculture.


Since 2000, Benchmark has consistently worked to build a platform to serve its customers, helping food producers take control of their biological environment through the combination of genetics, nutrition, health and knowledge services. Through its in-depth knowledge of animal biology Benchmark is able to tackle the key issues facing producers primarily in the aquaculture sector.


The Company has proven distribution capabilities in high growth markets and operates internationally with R&D facilities, commercial farms, diagnostic laboratories, manufacturing sites, production facilities and commercial offices across 27 countries in five continents. As at 30 September 2017, Benchmark employed 952 people.


For further information on Benchmark please visit



This information is provided by RNS
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