Lerøy Q4 harvest down after jellyfish attacks

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The full damaging impact of the Perlesnorman (string jellyfish) attacks on some of Norway’s salmon farmers this winter became evident today in a 2023 final quarter trading update from the Lerøy Seafood Group.

The company has announced a Q4 salmon and trout harvest of 47,500 tonnes, down by 5,800 tonnes on a year ago.

Lerøy, along with others, was hit by a series of jellyfish attacks during the final part of 2023.

It said: “Challenges related to string jellyfish had some impact on production in the fourth quarter of 2023 resulting in loss of feeding days in Lerøy Aurora.”

The Norwegian harvest is made up as follows: Lerøy Aurora (northern Norway) at 12,500 tonnes Lerøy Midt: 20,300 tonnes and Lerøy Sjøtroll: 14,700 tonnes (of which 6,500 tonnes was trout).

The company said: “Lerøy Sjøtroll harvested some sites earlier than originally planned whereas Lerøy Midt experienced limited impact.

Harvest volumes of salmon and trout for the full year in Norway ended at 160,000 tonnes against 174,600 tonnes for 2022.

It said this was somewhat higher than previously guided, but biomass going into 2024 is slightly lower for the reasons mentioned above. The 2024 guidance for Norway remains 175 thousand GWT.

Lerøy is also part owner with SalMar of Scottish Sea Farms, but its results will not be known until the full Q4 report is published next month.

The company also operates one of Norway’s largest fishing fleets and the catch total was 12,500 tonnes (against 13,100 tonnes in Q4 2022) of which 5,000 tonnes was cod.

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