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A bioeconomic model of a genetic improvement program of abalone

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This study predicts the long-term economic effects of a genetic improvement program of Australian abalone. A detailed bioeconomic model was constructed, which allows the combination of the biological, technological, and economic aspects of genetic improvement. This research focuses on analyzing various traits through an aggregate breeding value and selection index. In this study, the traditional formula of annual genetic gain is used to allow a detailed analysis of biomass future behavior in terms of the intertemporal evolution of the traits analyzed. The results showed that the production program of genetic management in Australian abalone is profitable but only in the very long term, and it is influenced mainly by the progressive increase in the biomass of each abalone and the survival rate. Sensitivity analysis showed that the weight at harvest is the most important trait, suggesting that it is more beneficial for a farmer to focus on genetically improving this trait. In addition, reproductive factors (especially survival from competent larvae until sexual maturity) had a particularly strong impact on the results, much more than the factors related to genetic improvement and economics, such as the discount rate and selling price.

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The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Nuclei of the Millennium Science Initiative Program “Regional Sciences and Public Policy’’ (MIDEPLAN-Chile)

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Correspondence to Sergio Zuniga-Jara.

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Zuniga-Jara, S., Marín-Riffo, M.C. A bioeconomic model of a genetic improvement program of abalone. Aquacult Int 22, 1533–1562 (2014).

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