The Grieg farm in Vannfjord in northern Norway.
The Grieg farm in Vannfjord in northern Norway.

Fish escape from Norwegian salmon farm

Grieg sets out more than a mile of recapture nets after breach is discovered


An unknown number of salmon have escaped from a Grieg Seafood farm in northern Norway.

Grieg Finnmark said a tear was discovered at the bottom of a net at a depth of 31 metres at its Vannfjord farm in Nordkapp municipality earlier today.

“We immediately sounded the full alarm, called in divers, notified the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries and deployed recapture nets. The tear is now sealed,” the company said in a press release.

About 1,700 metres (1.06 miles) of recapture nets have been set out around the cage. As of now, 17 fish have been caught in the nets. There are no indications that the escape has been extensive. The recapture nets will remain in place for some time.

129,000 fish in the cage

Based on what the company knows as of now, the tear occurred due to damage to mortality recovery equipment. The Directorate of Fisheries will investigate the incident and the cause in more detail.

“It is our responsibility as farmers to avoid escapes in order to prevent impacts on wild salmon, and we have also worked very hard to reduce the risk of escapes in recent years,” said Vidar Aamo Nikolaisen, regional director of Grieg Seafood Finnmark.

“Unfortunately, an escape incident occurred today. We must get to the bottom of what has happened, learn from it and improve our procedures. Fortunately, the number of escape incidents has decreased significantly in recent years after a lot of hard work, but today shows that we still have to improve in this area.”

There are 129,000 fish in the cage, with an average weight of 4.6 kg. The fish will be harvested during the autumn and Grieg will then have an overview of how many fish escaped.