NORWAY is claiming success in reducing the number of fish escaping from its fish farms – thanks to an industry wide effort.
According to the Norwegian directorate of fisheries 126,000 salmon and 62,000 rainbow trout escaped last year compared to 170,000 salmon and 84,000 trout in 2015. So far this year fish farms have reported very few escaped fish. The latest figures suggest there have been six reports of escape involving only eight salmon but 3,000 rainbow trout.
Tarald Sivertsen, head of the escapes committee at Seafood Norway said a large systematic effort by the industry was now bring some positive results. He added: ” Our vision is zero escapes from Norwegian aquaculture facilities. But when things go wrong we also put great effort into catching fish that have escaped.. It is a demanding process, but our measures worked well in this area. ”
The industry believes it is gradually winning the battle against of one of the biggest problems in aquaculture. Last year 50 per cent of escaped and 10 per cent of salmon that got away were successfully recaptured. Poorly secured drains used to be the most common cause of escapes but now technical failures seem to have taken over. Now all aquaculture sites are required to monitor their fish and installations daily. The Aquaculture Operations Regulations state that site managers are obliged to have the necessary knowledge to prevent, detect and limit escapes. I
Two years ago new regulations on joint responsibility for re-capturing escaped fish in rivers were introduced . In the same year the aquaculture industry association for escaped fish was established to enforce these regulations. Training was also stepped up.