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On Saturday, Salaks experienced a landslide that damaged its production facility. Photo: Salangen Fire and Rescue.
On Saturday, Salaks experienced a landslide that damaged its production facility. Photo: Salangen Fire and Rescue.

A Norwegian salmon farmer hit by fish deaths caused by algal blooms has been dealt a second blow by a landslide that has damaged part of its production facility in Salangen municipality in the northern region of Troms.

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Salaks fears it must now extend the lay-off period for employees already without work because of the algal blooms.

“The landslide has damaged parts of the production building at the back. Among other things, the workshop area. As we see from the drone images. The landslide has loosened [rock] between 100 and 200 metres above the production building. Although the material damage is great, the most important thing is that no one was injured in the accident. No one was at work when the accident happened,” Salaks said in a statement.

Lots of rainfall

According to Salaks, Salangen Fire and Rescue was quickly on site along with the ambulance service. Police and Norwegian Rescue Dogs also participated during the action.

“We want to thank everyone for the effort that was made when the accident happened,” said the company, which employs around 75 people and produces 9,000 tonnes of salmon annually. 

It added that the landslide may extend the lay-off period that started with the algae deaths the company experienced just under a month ago.

“There has been a lot of rainfall in the recent days, and we are not entirely confident that there can be no more landslides. We do not have the full overview yet and the area is blocked off. We ask everyone to stay out of the landslide area,” said Salaks.

Third of production lost

The company added that NVE (Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate) was present on Saturday with two geologists. Together with Salangen Fire and Rescue, the area was inspected with the help of a drone. NVE and Salaks will continuously evaluate the conditions, and the further work on securing the area.

Salaks general manager Odd Bekkeli told broadcaster NRK he was relieved that they had no one at work when the landslide happened.

“We didn’t need this now. On top of the algae situation we are in now, we will probably struggle to slaughter salmon in the future,” he said.

On May 28, Aftenposten reported that Salaks had lost a third of next year’s production with an estimated harvest weight of 3,000 tonnes. That meant that 25-30 employees had to be laid off.

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