The three Cermaq sites affected by the algal bloom. Map: Google /Cermaq.

130,000 morts collected at algae-hit Cermaq sites

Salmon farmer Cermaq today said that it had recovered 130,000 dead fish from three sites in British Columbia that have been affected by a harmful algal bloom.

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It expects to finish removing mortalities by the end of the week, but points out that this depends on the further development of the bloom.

Earlier this week Cermaq said farms at Binns Island, Bawden Point and Ross Pass, all located within its Tofino operating area, were experiencing a bloom that was affecting fish.

Maximising welfare

In a statement today, Cermaq said: “We are currently experiencing mortalities due to a harmful algae bloom consisting of the species Chatocerous Convolutuson at three farms located along the west coast of Vancouver Island. The first mortality occurred in the beginning of last week.

“Efforts have been made to avoid further stress on surviving fish and maximise animal welfare, and dead fish have been continuously collected and are being transported for use in either rendering or compost.

1.4 million fish on sites

“Collection and transport follow strict bio-security processes. So far, we have removed 130,000 fish. Before the algae bloom hit, we had a total of 1.4 million fish in these three farm sites. We expect to be finished with removing the mortalities by the end of this week. However, this depends on the further development of the bloom.

“All three farms have been taking measures to reduce the risk for such events, but as the bloom is found also under the usual depths, some of our tools like algae skirts or bubble curtains are not effective.”