‘Tens of thousands’ of salmon escape from Huon Aquaculture farm

Up to 30,000 salmon are estimated to have escaped from the net pen of a Huon Aquaculture farm in Tasmania, Australia on September 2, some reportedly up to 5kg in weight, due to a tear in the net.

“As part of fish loading operations at our Zuidpool South lease (in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel), our crews identified a tear in the inner net of one pen resulting in an inventory loss of less than 10 percent,” Huon Aquaculture community relations manager Pene Snashall was quoted by Australian media as saying.

“The cause was due to aluminium poles from net infrastructure coming loose.”

Huon did not quote an actual number but Facebook page Fishtas and other sources claim there could be up to 30,000 salmon loose, some up to 5kg in weight.

The Huon River, where the farm is located, empties into the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean. Local media have posted sites where anglers can catch the Atlantic salmon “swimming free” and anglers have been catching them, reported The Mercury.

The local media reported on the incident nearly a week after it happened. Environmental group Neighbours of Fish Farming is concerned about the potential harm the escapees will do to other species in the river. The public should have been informed of the escape when it occurred, it said.

“Tasmanian communities have every right to know automatically when these escapes occur and which company is responsible,” a campaigner was quoted as saying.

In November 2020, fish escaped from Huon Aquaculture pens after fire melted pen infrastructure, resulting in 50,000 fish swimming out.


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