Lerøy escape numbers far less than feared

Close-up of pair of wild salmon fish swimming in the river

The number of fish that escaped from a Lerøy Midt salmon farm in Norway is estimated to be considerably less than first thought.

Reports earlier this week suggested that 14,000 mature salmon had got out, but that figure is now down to around 8,400.

The incident had been branded one of the largest escapes in Norway for many years and while 8,400 is still a large number it is nowhere near the size that was first feared.

Yesterday Lerøy Midt issued an update on the escape, which took place earlier this month.

General Manager Harald Larsson said that after the total number of fish has been counted on the site, and information about the movement of fish between the cages during production has been included, the extent of the escape has been reduced to 8,400 salmon with an average weight of 7.3 kilos.

He added: “We take this escape very seriously and have therefore, on our own initiative, made contact with expert circles to assess further damage-limiting measures.

“We want to get a good overview of the spread of the fish so that we can put in place targeted measures. Lerøy has been one of the driving forces to put in place a tracking solution so that escaped salmon can be traced back to the owner, [and] we will use this solution.”

Lerøy Midt said the fish that escaped have a good health status and would be safe to eat.

It was reported last week that viral and bacterial salmon pathogens were detected on the site, which the company said presented additional challenges that they and the authorities would have to deal with.

Recaptured fish are currently being tested to establish the extent of any infections.


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