Now Cermaq is forced to cull 900,000 young salmon

One of Cermaq's sites

Cermaq has become the latest large Norwegian salmon company to be hit by a major biological issue.

The company said yesterday it has been forced to cull 900,000 fish with wounds in six cages at its facility near Hammerfest. The fish weigh around 500 grammes on average.

Earlier this week the Lerøy Seafood group reported almost half a million young salmon deaths at its Sjøtroll facility in western Norway.

Cermaq said it has taken the action due to a demanding fish health situation, which appears to have developed over time.

The company has been in engaged in a lengthy period of contact with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Cermaq has now decided to remove, stun and euthanise the fish concerned.

Cermaq Regional Director Gunnar Gudmundsson said: “This has been a desperate situation, where we have seen increased mortality in these cages since the beginning of January this year, as a result of jellyfish and a period of stormy weather which has subsequently led to a bacterial wound infection.”

He added: “We have had a close dialogue with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and implemented measures to improve the situation, with increased withdrawal of weakened and dead fish.

“Despite measures, the situation has not changed and considering the time of year and low sea temperatures, we fear a further deterioration.”

He stressed it was necessary to take such action for the sake of fish welfare.

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