Anglers offered £52 a head for escaped salmon

Angler in Norway

A large bonus is being offered for the recapture of farmed salmon that escaped from a Lerøy Seafood facility in Norway.

The company is offering anglers NOK 700 or around £52 per salmon – one of the highest rewards so far for such an event.

More than 8,000 fish escaped from the Lerøy farm in the Hitra municipality over a week ago. The original escape figure was more than 14,000 but that estimate was later reduced.

The incident was made worse by the revelation that many of the fish were infected by bacterial kidney disease (BKD).

The news journal Børsen reports that former professional footballer Vegard Heggem has been negotiating with Lerøy on behalf of anglers.

Børsen says he and the river managers will receive the NOK 700 bounty for anglers who catch each escaped fish caught in rivers around the area.

They will have to be confirmed as farmed salmon following submission. Heggem, a former Liverpool FC and Norwegian international right back, now retired, said the figure was only fair and reasonable.

It also said the rivers affected are some of the best wild salmon fishing rivers in the country.

Veggem told Børsen: “ We have experienced escapes in the past, but never with infection from this rare disease [BKD).

“The phone calls are pouring in from people and fishermen who are genuinely concerned. The timing is absolutely disastrous, now just before the start of fishing on 1 June”, said Heggem to Børsen.

Lerøy has apologised for the incident, saying it is working purposefully to ensure as many fish as possible are returned and to ensure such an incident should never happen again.


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