Landcatch Natural Selection Ltd - Hendrix Genetics

We believe we have an exciting story to tell about our science, eggs, smolts, and the tremendous resources we have in support, thanks to our parent company, Hendrix Genetics. We are keen to continue collaborations with customers new and old – we also want to hear from customers what their needs are and how we can make our products and services work to their benefit. Our website has a lot of information but if you would like to know more, please contact us, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Company details

Business Type:
Industry Type:
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

Landcatch is part of Hendrix Genetics, a global multi-species breeding company with activities in layer poultry, turkeys, pigs and now aquaculture.

Based in Scotland and operating worldwide, Landcatch has pioneered aspects of resistance in salmon to common diseases and sea lice infection, as well as improving growth and feed conversion efficiency.

The company has racked up an impressive series of breakthroughs since 2001 when it recognised resistance to Pancreas Disease in its salmon strain. Other breeding technology advances have come thick and fast, including discovery of a major gene influencing Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis, then applying this discovery in selective breeding.

Landcatch forged ahead to prove that sea lice resistance is inherited, with variations in family groups, and has now produced juvenile fish directly from broodstock and eggs selected for improved resistance. It is also developing a cutting-edge genomic selection tool for Atlantic salmon – the SNP chip – to accelerate this progress.

With its unrivalled in-house breeding science capability, Landcatch already provides its high-performance eggs, smolts and genetic services to businesses from Europe to Chile. Now it is developing to serve a much bigger and wider range of aquaculture customers, helping to fulfill the overall Hendrix mission to be a global champion.

Landcatch’s aim is to move from being a Challenger to Champion. We will be the market leader in the provision of customer-focused aquaculture genetic solutions.

To achieve Champion status by becoming leaders in our product markets. We will lead especially on our science expertise. As well as delivering research, product development, quality, and the highest standards of welfare in the production of our Atlantic salmon eggs and smolts, we are focused on the following:

Our customers: we want to show them we are honest; collaborative; ethical; that we care; and that we provide solutions.

Our community: we are responsible employers; we want to be good for our industry; we won’t impact adversely on our local areas; we are responsible neighbour; and we believe in our corporate social responsibility.

Our staff: we will be an employer of choice;we will be excellent communicators; we will maintain formal standards of excellence.

Hendrix Genetics: we will play a positive role in enhancing the Hendrix Genetics reputation even further; we will be collaborative with other Hendrix Genetics companies and colleagues – especially as this benefits our customers even more.

Regulators: we will continue to meet compliance requirements; and we will play a full and active part in industry regulation developments.

Landcatch Ltd was founded in 1980 on the Ormsary estate, by Sir William Lithgow, the proprietor of the former Scott Lithgow shipyard on the Clyde. The farm was set up to utilise the natural resources of the estate whilst at the same time contributing to what continues to be a vibrant and industrious local community.

As part of the Lithgow group of companies, Landcatch was able to draw upon, as well as provide, a wide range of skills in the fields of engineering, biology and management. The company’s core business has always been the breeding and production of salmon ova and smolts, driven through a policy of continuous improvement which is primarily achieved through our selective breeding programme established in 1995, run under the title of Landcatch Natural Selection, based in Stirling. This programme has subsequently been extended around the world in salmon and other species.

The company operates four freshwater tank sites in Scotland producing up to 4.5 million smolts annually, plus a land based seawater site for brood fish producing up to 40 million eggs.

Until 2009, Landcatch Limited had operations in Chile, producing both ova and smolts for the domestic market. This provided an excellent sales base for the import of eggs from our Scottish operations, until national health regulations prevented the importation of eggs into Chile. However, the Landcatch brand continues to enjoy high status there, in that there are a number of major breeding programme operations managed from the Stirling base, currently accounting for in excess of 25% of egg production within Chile.

In 2011, the Lithgow family decided to pull out of aquaculture, and sold the businesses to Hendrix Genetics, based in Boxmeer, Netherlands. Hendrix are the world’s leading breeder in poultry, pigs and turkeys, and have stated that it is their ambition to become the world’s leading salmon breeder. After the sale, the company emerged as Landcatch Natural Selection Ltd, to reflect the importance of the science behind the business.

Hendrix Genetics is a global, multi-species breeding company whose aim is to become the world’s best provider of sustainable genetic solutions for production of animal protein foods including fish, eggs and meat.

Hendrix Genetics work in pigs, turkeys, laying poultry – and now aquaculture, since selecting and buying Landcatch for its technical excellence and growth potential in 2011.

Our parent company already operates in 24 countries worldwide, with more than 2,500 employees whose work supports continuous development in breeding and rearing operations in more than 100 countries.

Its Research & Technology Centre develops ever-improving technologies within the Hendrix Genetics divisions, cooperates with partners and alliances, and provides a comprehensive science network and intellectual property management services.

Geneticists are supported with automatic data entry, breeding programs in extensive on-line databases and centralised storage of DNA samples in the BioBank. This ensures reliable genetic selections and meaningful analysis including molecular breeding, a rapidly expanding area using DNA information to uncover the genetic value of animals.

In addition to Hendrix Genetics’s own internal projects and research, the company also executes many research and technology projects in close cooperation with universities and other academic institutions worldwide.

Landcatch provides genetic breeding programme support to five Atlantic Salmon breeding programmes around the world and has experience with other species such as Rainbow Trout and Coho Salmon.

Landcatch Geneticists work with their customers’ management teams to advise on design and development of breeding programmes to meet the needs and requirements of their businesses. Customised technical packages can include genotyping; data analysis and management; and customised breeding programme design.

Landcatch eggs are bred for continuously improved disease and sea-lice resistance in growing salmon, and with 100 per cent parental testing for Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN). Supplied from 2-3 sea winter stocks, they can be tailor-selected for factors including IPN QTL. They are BKD and SRS certified, and have GlobalGap and CoGP accreditation.

Our smolts are all grown in isolated, land-based production sites in Argyll, Wester Ross and Inverness. They are Freedom Foods, CoGP and GlobalGap-compliant and can be supplied at 80-100g from August to May (or July if we have sufficient notice).

We are committed to supplying customers with high performing, disease-free stock. We therefore run constant in-house health monitoring, along with regular visits from a specialised fish vet, under a frequently updated Veterinary Health Plan.

Each of our sites has its designated Fish Health Monitor, supported by qualified veterinary health professionals. Our broodstock and freshwater sites at Ormsary and Clachbreac also undergo additional fish testing for BKD which allows us to export to other countries who operate strict BKD controls. We also test all broodstock for IPN at stripping time.

All of our freshwater staff are trained in fish welfare. We are also compliant with all Scottish Government fish health legislation, we comply with SEPA licences and our sites operate to strict biosecurity procedures covering staff, visitors and vehicles.