Anglers are being paid NOK 300 (£28) for the clipped fin of each salmon they catch from the Oksbåsen farm. Photo: SinkabergHansen.

49,000 salmon escape from Norwegian farm

Norwegian salmon farmer SinkabergHansen has calculated that 49,000 salmon with an average weight of 2.6kg escaped from its farm at Oksbåsen, near Trondheim at the weekend.

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The escape was discovered on Sunday, after mechanical delousing had been carried out in a cage.

The salmon farmer this week used a wellboat to count the remaining fish during a transfer to another cage. It found 76,115 remaining from a previous total of 125,000.

£28 fin bounty for anglers

The escaped fish are completely healthy and safe to eat. Anglers who catch salmon in the vicinity of the farm are being offered NOK 300 (£28) in bounty for each clipped adipose fin they supply as evidence of a catch.

“In the midst of this unfortunate incident, we hope that as many as possible will participate in the recapture,” said chief executive Svein-Gustav Sinkaberg.

Immediately after the incident was discovered, the personnel at the site initiated their own fish escapes procedure.

Deployment of nets

This includes deploying an emergency net to seal the hole in the cage and the deployment of nets around the site, as well as control and observation with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

SinkabergHansen also brought in a 70-foot fishing vessel on Monday to fish for the escaped salmon.

“Fish that escape permanently are the last thing we want. Therefore, we hope that both a hired operator, as well as as many recreational fishermen as possible, will reduce the number of salmon astray,” said Sinkaberg.