Professor Eric Hallerman, who has worked for many years on the environmental issues surrounding genetically engineered salmon, is continuing to promote a better understanding of fisheries genetics and animal biotechnology.

Hallerman co-authored “Genetic Resources of Neotropical Fishes” with colleague Alexandre W.S. Hilsdorf of the University of Mogi das Cruzes in Brazil. The book summarizes the science of genetics and fisheries management, and offers recommendations to help fisheries professionals in Latin America utilize genetics. “Much of Latin America lacks data on fish genetics, and many fisheries professionals lack the sense that this is an important part of fisheries management,” explained Hallerman, who hopes the book will be a learning tool for fisheries professionals and students, promote sustainability in Latin American fisheries, and inspire Latin American students to delve into the world of genetics.

In addition, Hallerman organized the Third International Workshop for Regulation of Animal Biotechnology in Charlottesville, Virginia, in June — the first time the workshop was held in the United States. Its goal was to aid discussion of rapid advancements in genetically modified animals and their place in food and fiber production. “The technology that is currently being developed can produce animals that are more disease resistant, can produce longer-lasting products like milk, and utilize feed more efficiently, leading to less strain on the environment,” Hallerman said. “We need to put regulatory systems in place so we’ll be ready to actively consider applications as they come forward to the regulatory agencies. The task for regulators is to approve well-chosen lines that promote the sustainability and resiliency of our food production systems, promote human health, or provide useful products not otherwise available.”

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