Aim of the Silgen R&D development was to develop a new complex mass production system of premium quality European catfish. The first step was the domestication of the wild European catfish (Silurus Glanis), which resulted in a new monoculture farming methodology, a novel feeding technology, and a specialised pellet-based feed formula. At the end of the first four year’s testing the results were promising (huge savings on labour, energy, and risks to stock, as well as a 50% accelerated business cycle), so the project entered the second phase.
The aim of the second phase was to adapt our new technology to different farming environments. This was an essential step, as our goal is not only to increase production efficiency, but also to build a stable, diversified, and local supply chain while minimizing the ecological footprint. During this period Silgen technology has been developed to both intensive and semi-intensive environments, as well as a model hybrid environment demonstrating the technology’s full-scale adaptability. This versatility of Silgen technology ensures that it is suitable for efficient and low-emission catfish production in almost any part of the world where the required amount of water and electricity is available.
Parallel to the production technology development we started the breeding work, which aimed to develop the best European catfish variety. Driven by the unique high potential of this species, we established a live European catfish gene bank for selection work. Following, we have carried out accelerated stock improvement using marker-assisted selection (parentage assignment). This was a newly applied and natural (non-GMO) approach that allowed to continuously improve offspring while minimizing alleles loss across generations. This work has resulted in outstanding improvement in both product quality and breeding productivity indicators.
The last step of the Silgen project was to develop of a brand new retail catfish product, which can take the premium quality of Silgen catfish to the consumer’s table. The first consumer product of the Silgen Noble Wels brand is the Premium Sous Vide Catfish Fillet. Taste and enjoy.