Storms cost Bakkafrost a million salmon

Severe storms have resulted in high mortalities at Bakkafrost's southern island farms

RECENT storms around the Faroe Islands are expected to cut Bakkafrost’s harvest expectations this year by up to 10 per cent, the company revealed today.

The unexpectedly severe weather hit the North Atlantic archipelago over a four-day period between February 28 and March 2, causing significant  damage on the islands and to two of Bakkafrost’s farming sites in the southern island, known as Suðuroy, and killing hundreds of thousands of young salmon.

Bakkafrost said: ‘The storm overstressed some of the farming equipment in A23 Hvalba and damaged the nets in 12 pens in the two farming sites.

‘In A15 Froðba a continuous ground swell over five days caused a significant mortality of the fish. In total, Bakkafrost lost up to a million fish with an average weight of 2.1 kg.’

The company said the damaged farming equipment is insured and the fish is insured at cost value.

Bakkafrost has previously guided on an expected harvest for 2020 of 57,000 tonnes (heads on gutted) in the Faroe Islands.

This incident is expected to reduce the harvest in 2020 in the Faroe Islands by between 5,000 and 6,000 tonnes.

The company said that the fish in undamaged nets seem to be fine, adding that the experience has shown that equipment can be improved to prevent damage in future severe storms.

The weather in the North Atlantic has been particularly rough this winter. Just two weeks earlier the Icelandic salmon company Arnarlax lost salmon worth at least £2.5 million after storms hit the western part of the country.

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