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Smolt has raised approximately 65 million yen through a third-party allotment of new shares to four companies, including business companies

Science and opportunity: Accelerating the development of high-temperature resistant salmon

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Thursday, June 13, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Miyazaki University's "Smolt" project to expand aquaculture

Smolt (Miyazaki City, President Ueno Masaru), a farming startup from Miyazaki University, is accelerating the development of high-temperature-resistant cherry salmon varieties.

The company has introduced a total of 10,000 seedlings to several farms in Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu, and has a track record of cultivating them in high water temperatures of around 20 degrees. 

To overcome the current situation in which salmon farming periods and sea areas are being restricted both domestically and overseas due to the effects of rising sea temperatures caused by global warming in recent years, we will strengthen the development of varieties using high-temperature resistant salmon that can be farmed under high water temperature conditions that we own. In the future, we aim to develop varieties that can grow in extremely high water temperatures of 22°C or more, which is an extremely high water temperature environment for salmon, and to implement them in society and achieve the SDGs.

High water temperatures are a barrier to salmon farming both at home and abroad

Salmon such as Coho Salmon and Rainbow Trout (Trout Salmon) are fish species that originally live in cold waters and are farmed in seasons and places where the water temperature can be kept below 18°C ​​for a certain period. However, due to rising seawater temperatures caused by global warming, the times and places where the water temperature can be below 18°C ​​are becoming limited, causing problems such as delayed shipments of farmed salmon and reduced production efficiency.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the rise in sea temperatures caused by global warming is a serious problem.

Smolt's unique breeding method, "recycling aquaculture," is highly praised


Source: Japan Meteorological Agency, Trends in the average annual sea surface temperature (global average)

In general salmon farming (including cherry salmon), fish are born in freshwater and then cultured in saltwater for a certain period before being shipped, or cultured only in freshwater until shipping.

Meanwhile, Smolt raises young fish born in freshwater in the same way as in the wild, by raising them in seawater for a certain period and then raising them in freshwater again. During this process, Smolt focuses on the lineage of cherry salmon, selecting parents that can grow in a warm climate like Miyazaki and parents that grow quickly, and crossbreeding them for six generations to develop an excellent lineage of cherry salmon that can be raised in a variety of environments. 

Smolt received the Japan Science and Technology Agency President's Award at the 2021 STI for SDGs Awards, run by the National Research and Development Agency, Japan Science and Technology Agency. This initiative is expected to contribute to the achievement of SDGs goals 13 , "Take concrete action to combat climate change" and 14, "Protect the oceans and their abundance."

Accelerating the development of high-temperature tolerant salmon varieties

Since Smolt Company's founding in 2019, they have been cultivating cherry salmon in the ocean in Miyazaki Prefecture, a warm environment that has been considered unsuitable for salmon farming. Their seedlings (salmon fry) have been introduced in Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu, and we have a track record of cultivating them in high water temperatures of around 20 degrees. In the future, they will accelerate the development of high-temperature resistant salmon varieties, based on the excellent cherry salmon strains they have succeeded in and the selection techniques we have cultivated, and work on developing varieties that can be cultivated in ultra-high water temperatures of 22 degrees or more, aiming to demonstrate this in a wide area of ​​the country.

Seeking business partners

Smolt is looking for business partners who have issues with salmon farming or are considering salmon farming as a new business. For more information, please contact us through the "Business Collaboration" section of the inquiry form.

Address: 1-1 Gakuen Kihanadai Nishi, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture

       Industry-Academia-Community Collaboration Center

Established: April 11, 2019

Capital: 53.76 million yen

Representative: CEO Ueno Masaru

Business: Aquaculture and fisheries technology development

Awards: Finalist for Falling Walls Venture 2022 (held in Berlin) in November 2022

                     September 2019 3rd Nippon Foundation Marine Tech Finalist

                     November 2018: 2nd Miyazaki Tech Plan Grand Prix Grand Prize

                     September 2017: 1st Miyazaki University Business Plan Contest: Miyazaki University President's Award

[email protected]


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