Large number of salmon escape from Scottish fish farm

The Daily Record (Scotland) reports 10th April 2017: Thousands of Atlantic salmon escaped from a farm in one of the biggest breaches the industry has seen.

Around 20,000 fish got out of the farm run by Scottish Sea Farms at Bloody Bay on the Isle of Mull. And 1,300 wrasse — used at the site as “cleaner-fish” — also swam into the wild.

It is thought the escape happened when the site was targeted by predators, most likely seals.

The breach is the biggest in Scotland since 30,000 fish escaped a site in the Outer Hebrides last May.

The salmon averaged almost 3lb each and would have been scheduled for harvest next year.

The escape — on 25th March — could have environmental ­consequences for the Sound of Mull.

A Norwegian study published last July suggests some domesticated escapees have mated with wild fish, which could weaken the wild population.

Scientists are also ­investigating whether escaped fish could eat or displace wild species.

The Record’s angling correspondent Silver Wilkie said: “If these fish are not genetically engineered to stop reproduction then there’s a danger they’ll go into the rivers.

“Each river has its own DNA, their own breed of fish that’s relative to each ­individual river. It could mean mixed breeding, which is never a good thing. The other concern, of course, is the potential for the spreading of disease.”

No one from Scottish Sea Farms responded to requests for comment.

 

Source: The Daily Record, 10th April 2017. For further details, see www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/thousands-salmon-escape-sea-farm-10191920

 


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