Confusion as salmon farmers pull back on ‘escape’ reports

many fish swimming together

The authorities in Norway are investigating two reports of escape incidents over the past few days – but the two companies who farm in the areas now say that none of their fish have actually got out.

One of the sites concerned is near Frøya and the other is on Altafjord. The apparent breaches in containment follow a number of other escapes so far this year.

The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries said in a statement on Monday that it is following up the reports, adding: “We want the public to let us know if they catch any farmed salmon.”

Last week Cermaq reported a possible escape at the far end of Altafjord, but later said that no fish had escaped, even though damage was discovered in one of the cages.

Two days later an incident was reported at a site at Munkskjæra west of Frøya where Mowi has operations. Mowi later reported that no fish from the facility had actually got out.

The farmed salmon in this cage has an average weight of 3.4 kg. The Directorate has asked anyone who catches the fish to take a picture so they can be quickly identified.

Meanwhile, the number of possible infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) cases in Norway continues to rise.

A suspected case has been reported at a Lerøy Midt facility in Hitra municipality. The suspicion is based on the results of PCR tests taken after sampling at the site.

ISA is also suspected at another Lerøy location – this time in Vestland county and again following PCR tests. If confirmed, the usual restrictions will be put in place.

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