SalMar investigating potential escapes following storms in Central Norway
SalMar Investigates Potential Fish Escapes After Storms in Central Norway
Norwegian salmon farming giant SalMar has reported a number of potential escapes following extreme weather along the Norwegian coast last week.
Despite extensive preventive measures taken prior to the storm, SalMar has identified cages with holes at several locations, raising suspicions of potential fish escapes. The Directorate of Fisheries has been duly notified, according to a release from the salmon producer on 6 February.
At SalMar’s Farmannsøya site in Åfjorden, three cages were found to have holes, initially detected using the company’s feeding cameras. Divers and remote-controlled underwater vehicles were immediately deployed for inspection and repair, according to the company. The damaged cages, part of a submerged operation, are suspected to have been compromised by biomass meters. The fish at this location average around half a kilo in size.
Another incident was reported at the Salatskjera site in Frøya municipality, where holes in a net were discovered and promptly repaired. The Directorate of Fisheries has been informed, and trapping nets have been set up as a precaution. The likely cause of the damage at this site is attributed to a camera winch falling into the net. The fish in the affected cage weigh approximately three kilos.
Minor incidents have also been reported and notified to the Directorate of Fisheries at the Gjæsingen site in Åfjord municipality and the Fjordprakken site in Smøla municipality. At Gjæsingen, two small holes were observed in the nets, and at Fjordprakken, a jumping fence was found to have collapsed. Recapture nets have been set out at these locations, though the probability of fish escape is deemed low.
SalMar is actively reviewing the causes of the damage and will collaborate with the Directorate of Fisheries on further measures. Findings and lessons learned from these incidents will be shared with the wider industry to enhance future storm preparedness and response strategies in aquaculture.