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There is still mortality and a high concentration of algae in the inner part of Ofotfjorden. Image: BarentsWatch.
There is still mortality and a high concentration of algae in the inner part of Ofotfjorden. Image: BarentsWatch.

More fish deaths caused by algal blooms have been reported in northern Norway. The mortalities occurred in the Ofotfjorden in Nordland, where the concentration of algae in the inner parts of the fjord is still high.

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Norway’s Fisheries Directorate said that no mortality has been reported in the neighbouring county of Troms, but there is discoloration at a number of sites. It is currently unknown whether this is due to the Chrysochromulina algae which has been blamed for the death of around eight million fish over the last few weeks.

No mortality was reported in areas other than in the inner part of Ofotfjorden yesterday.

Extra sampling

“This area was not covered by yesterday’s program and it was decided to do extra sampling in the area last night. At the innermost stations there was high density of Chrysochromulina. At the same time, high density of diatoms in the inner part was registered,” reported the Fisheries Directorate.

There is still a high concentration of algae in the inner parts of Ofotfjorden compared to measurements made on June 2.

The currents and wind conditions in the area over the last few days have resulted in the transport of algae into the innermost parts of Ofotfjorden. The current forecast indicates a north (north-west) moving current in the inner part of the fjord, which will result in transport outwards in the fjord, reported the Fisheries Directorate.

Heavy losses

In the outer part of the fjord, the current conditions were forecast to vary somewhat during the day and night. Periodically, there was forecast to be outward flow from the Ofotfjord. 

From today, the forecast indicates outward water flow throughout the fjord, although the current will turn again and be more inward in the outer parts.

A number of fish farmers have suffered heavy losses throughout the crisis. These include Ballangan Sjøfarm (2.7 million fish, or just over 3,000 tonnes), Salak (between 1,000 and 275,000 fish), Northern Lights Salmon (up to 2.4 million fish), Nordlaks (up to 1.3 million salmon weighting 1.3kg, and 29,000 smolts at 200g), Morten Salmon (at least 300,000 fish 50,000 smolts) and SalMar (1,300 fish at 1.3kg).

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