Nearly 50,000 salmon escape from fish farm after Storm Ellen damages pens

Almost 50,000 salmon managed to escape from a fish farm in Scotland after it was damaged by Storm Ellen.

The ferocious winds last week inflicted damage on four out of 10 fish pens on the North Carradale farm, near Campbeltown, Argyll.

The company running the farm said mooring ropes attached to seabed anchors had broken, tearing the nets and allowing a huge number of salmon to swim away — about 10% of the farm's total stock.

By August 22 the pens were re-secured and put back in their original location on Tuesday.

Sadly just over 30,000 of the escaping salmon died as a result.

  • Daily Star's newsletter brings you the biggest and best stories – sign up today

The North Carradale farm housed 550,700 salmon before the four pens were damaged in the storm.

Seafood company Mowi said 48,834 salmon escaped, 30,616 died and 125,900 were harvested from the damaged pens.

The farm has now sent the torn mooring ropes damaged in the storm to Aberdeen for further testing.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency told the BBC that it "shares concerns" regarding the loss of salmon.

"Whilst we are confident that marine pens have been returned to their authorised position and there was no significant pollution, we are liaising with Mowi and Marine Scotland, who have responsibility for fish escapes and their reporting," she said.

Environmental campaigners are concerned about the escaped fish breeding with wild Scottish salmon.

Corin Smith, head of campaign group Inside Scottish Salmon Feedlots, said: "For wild Scottish Atlantic salmon on the west coast of Scotland this is the ecological equivalent of an oil tanker running aground.

"The impacts of an escape of farmed salmon from this facility on this scale could finally wipe out, through interbreeding and introducing disease and genetic weaknesses, the tiny population (est 20,000) of genuinely wild Scottish salmon that remain on the west coast.

"Escaped farmed salmon need to be removed from the wild urgently. Those that may catch them by accident need to beware that they may not be safe to eat."

Source: Read Full Article