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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Salmon death toll spikes at fish farms

Norway’s Institute of Marine Research has reported a dismal and “dizzying” number of salmon that died at Norwegian fish farms last year: 65 million. That’s up 27 percent from the year before.

“It’s a very high number, almost dizzying,” researcher Ellen Sofie Grefsrud told news bureau NTB after the Bergen-based institute (Havforskningsinstituttet) released it annual risk assessment of Norway’s large and increasingly controversial fish-farming (oppdrett) industry. “Last year we had an average death rate of well over 15 percent,” Grefsrud said.

The increase was attibuted largely to an attack by jellyfish on the pens called merder where salmon are raised in Norwegian fjords and along the coast. The huge death toll also included fish that had to be destroyed along the Helgeland Coast to hinder the spread of illness. The institute noted that there also was a general increase in the amount of salmon farmed last year.

“We calculate that around 3- to 4 million salmon died after the jellyfish attack alone, and we have had outbreaks of illness,” Grefsrud said. The institute also cited “poor welfare” of the salmon before they died, and that the high death toll itself is “a sign of poor welfare.” staff



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