Mowi's site at Colonsay. Photo: Mowi Scotland.

73,600 fish escape from Mowi site after storm damages cage

Mowi Scotland has reported the escape of 73,600 salmon with an average weight of 1.9 kilograms following damage to a pen at the company’s Colonsay farm during storm Brendan last week.

Published Last updated

The escape was discovered when a post-storm inspection revealed structural failure of the pen, causing a tear in the netting. Other net pens on site have been confirmed secure. 

“We are very disappointed that this structural failure has occurred,” said David MacGillivray, Mowi’s regional farm manager, in a statement on the company’s website.

David MacGillivray: "We expect our modern infrastructure to withstand these challenges."

“Despite storm Brendan severely battering many parts of Scotland’s coast last week and Colonsay being a remote and particularly exposed location, we expect our modern infrastructure to withstand these challenges.”

Manufacturing review

Mowi stated that the farm’s net pens exceed both the Scottish and Norwegian technical standards for net pen design. The company and equipment supplier are immediately reviewing the net pen manufacturing process. 

No staff were injured during storm Brendan. 

Earlier this month Fish Farming Expert reported that nearly 24,000 salmon with an average weight of 4.5kg escaped from Mowi Scotland’s high-energy site at Hellisay, Isle of Barra in October.

It was the second incident at the site in under a year, following the escape of 24,572 fish with an average weight of 1.1kg during storms in November 2018.