Taking action after 14 thousand salmon escaped from a fish farm in Norway

A lot of big salmon escaped from Lerøy's sea cages …

A lot of big salmon escaped from Lerøy's sea cages in Reitholmen. A hole in the sea cage was discovered last Sunday. Photo/Mattilsynet

The Norwegian salmon farming company Lerøy Seafood Group estimates that approximately 14 thousand salmon over seven kilos have escaped from the aquarium of the subsidiary of Lerøy Midt in Reitholmen, Fillifjord. The farming area was one of the places where an unusually high number of dead fish were found in the last year.

This press release is of interest to Icelanders since fish farms, owned by Norwegian companies, have had fish escapes where a few was found in rivers, causing a huge response from the fly fishing community in Iceland who said that fish farming was a threat to the Icelandic salmon.

In a press release, Lerøy Seafood reports that a hole was discovered in the company's seacage on Sunday May 5. The slaughter was to begin when the hole was found, Intrafish reports.

“We’re sorry for the incident. This is not supposed to happen. We have a vision for zero accident escape and we take this very seriously. Lerøy has its own environmental and safety group, which has now started working to find the cause of the escape. Our priority now is to limit the extent of the damage and learn from the incident to avoid accident escape in the future,” Har­ald Lars­sen, CEO of Lerøy Midt, stated in the press release.

He says that measures have been taken to catch the salmon that escaped and that said measures are being implemented in consultation with the authorities.

Activate a contingency plan

Larsen reveals that the company's response plan was activated immediately and more than 1,500 metres of nets were deployed on the evening of 5 May, and several thousand meters of nets were deployed yesterday. Furthermore, more nets will be deployed today. Larsen says that discussions are taking place with authorities on what additional measures should be taken.

The fishermen and fishing companies in the area have been asked to help catch the salmon.

Lerøy was criticised heavily last year after it was revealed that the company had not reported significant salmon deaths in sea cages in other areas of the company’s sea farming.

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