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Thousands of salmon escape an Icelandic fish farm

The escape – at a pen in Patreksfjörður owned by Arctic Fish, one of the country’s largest salmon-farming companies, which is owned by Norwegian salmon giant Mowi – has reignited calls from environmentalists, sport fishers and some politicians to restrict or ban open-pen fish farming. - The Guaradian

"There are three reasons, scientists say, this escape is so disastrous: the fish are entering many rivers over a large area; there are in greater numbers than ever seen before; and a high percentage are mature, ready to breed."

"Globally, the numbers of wild Atlantic salmon, a keystone species for many mammals and birds, have dropped from 8-10 million in the 1970s to 3-4 million today. Only 500,000 are left in Norway, half the number of 20 years ago. Escaped farmed fish and sea lice – a persistent problem in open-pen farms – are their greatest threats. Scotland has seen a 40% decline in salmon returning to rivers over four decades; the Scottish government says many factors have caused the crisis, including the climate emergency, but that sea lice from aquaculture were partly to blame."

The Icelandic police have launched an investigation to determine if the fish farm company has breached regulations. If the company is found guilty of negligence, their CEO and board members could face up to two years in jail.

This reminds of the time Cooke Aquaculture's CEO, Glen Cooke was criminally charged for Kelly Cove Salmon's illegal use of banned pesticides (after the lethal chemical was smuggled across the US border concealed in gasoline cans) in the Bay of Fundy in 2013 killing thousands of lobsters. Cooke made a sweet heart deal, avoided going to jail and never admitted any wrong doing even though KCS pleaded guilty. (You can read about this case in the Salmon Wars book here.)

Guðmundur Hauker Jakobsson draws a salmon from the river | Photo:

Article from: The Guardian

Written By: Karen McVeigh


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