Better news on escaped fish numbers

wild salmon leaping upstream

Fewer escaped salmon are getting into Norwegian rivers, according to the latest annual survey.

OURO, the aquaculture industry’s association for dealing with escaped farmed fish says that fewer of these salmon  migrated up the rivers in 2023 than in previous years

It adds: “This is positive because fewer escaped fish in waterways before spawning reduces the impact on wild salmon.”

OURO said the national monitoring programme was assessed in some 195 watercourses.

Of these, OURO selected 38 rivers for fishing. Fishing of escaped farmed salmon was carried out in 20 of these rivers.

The rivers were selected on the basis of historical features of escaped salmon in the watercourse, vulnerability and proportion of escaped fish in 2021, or based on a decision that that it may be appropriate to follow the development in the watercourse over time.

In 17 of the investigated rivers, no escaped salmon were observed during the autumn of 2023.

Due to heavy rainfall, high water flow and poor visibility, however, it was difficult to calculate the proportion of escaped fish in the spawning stock in some rivers in Western Norway.

In addition to fishing in rivers, OURO has contributed to the collection of escaped fish with fish traps in Trøndelag.

The results from the removal of escaped farmed fish in rivers and seas for the autumn of 2023 show that a total of 226 escaped farmed fish were removed.

For 30 of the 31 rivers in which calculations of the number of escaped fish had been made, the proportion of escaped farmed salmon after harvesting was below 4%.

“Since the start of OURO in 2015, there have not been as few escaped farmed salmon recorded in the rivers as in 2023,” said chairwoman Ingrid Lundamo.





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