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Between 1,000 and 10,000 salmon are estimated to have escaped after fire damaged a cage at Cermaq’s Skinnstakkvika site in Ryggefjorden in Måsøy municipality in Finnmark, Norway last night.

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The fire damaged the cage collar, walkway and bird netting. Cermaq regional director Gunnar Gudmundsson told Fish Farming Expert’s sister site, Kyst.no, that employees saw the fire from a distance and responded quickly.

“It took about an hour before the fire was extinguished, and the staff repaired the damage to the collar and the cage,” he said. 

He said it was too early to pinpoint the cause of the fire, but it appeared to have started in a part of the electrical plant. 

500 grams

In a press release, Cermaq said the escaped fish were about 500 grams. There were about 162,000 fish in the cage when the fire broke out. The Directorate of Fisheries has been notified, said the company. 

Gudmundsson said that, to be realistic, the company has said that there are 1,000-10,000 fish that may have escaped, but pointed out that it hopes there will be significantly fewer escapees. 

“We have requested our largest wellboat to come today and pump all the fish in this cage into another cage. Then we will count the remaining fish so that the total extent of the escape can be mapped,” he said. 

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