Grieg was warned as early as 2018 that site would “most probably” be hit by avalanche again

Stian Olsen

A mountain safety company warned of the conditions at Grieg Seafood’s avalanche-stricken site after two large avalanches in the winter of 2018.

On Monday, SalmonBusiness reported that an avalanche had occurred at a Grieg Seafood site in Stjernøya, Finnmark, Northern Norway.

No employees were affected by the landslide, according to police.

However, it is not the first time there have been avalanches in the area. In March 2018 Grieg Seafood experienced two large avalanches. On one occasion, two workers left the cage just an hour after the avalanche hit, according to the local news site Altaposten. According to the newspaper, the area has many mountain areas where rock and snow can fall down.

Visinor (one of the country’s leading company’s in the field of rockfall protection) wrote a report after the avalanches, which said: “If the site is to stand where it stands, there will most likely be avalanches there later as well.”

Grieg Seafood, for its part, concluded that both avalanches had the potential to injure or in the worst case kill, as well as cause damage so serious that fish could have escaped.

The salmon farmer considered relocating the entire site, as the only realistic option after the avalanches.

“There is talk of a marginally small relocation, only a few hundred metres west towards Svømmenes,” said public affairs minister Roger Pedersen at the time.

Damage to cages in 2018 after avalanches. PHOTO: Grieg Seafood Finnmark

According to Pedersen, a consulting firm was employed with a view to finding a new, better location for the salmon farm. The documentation was scheduled to be ready in autumn 2018.

“It is right that we have had a process going on to move the site, where both avalanche expertise and regulatory authorities have been involved. The plan was to move the site in the summer. We will return with more information about this in our update later, which we will send out once we have an overview of the situation,” wrote Roger Pedersen in an email to SalmonBusiness.


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