The incident occurred at the Mowi Slåttenes site in Matersfjorden

Hundreds of thousands of fish died after failure in semi-closed pen

A power outage is believed to have caused a malfunction in Mowi's pen at its Slåttenes-site in Matersfjord in Norway

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"I can confirm that there has been an incident at Mowi's Slåttenes site in Matersfjorden in Kvinnherad. It is correct that the site has semi-closed pens," wrote Håvard Hustoft, head of the aquaculture department at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) region south and west, in an email to the Norwegian newspaper Kvinnheringen.

According to the department head, the incident was reported to Mattilsynet by Mowi itself.

"The full extent of the incident and any possible causal relationship is still unclear to Mattilsynet. Mattilsynet's aquaculture department is in dialogue with Mowi and is awaiting a complete deviation management and cause analysis," Hustoft told the newspaper.

Damage to a large amount of fish

Mowi's Europe communications director Ola Helge Hjetland confirmed to the newspaper that the company had an incident at the site on the last weekend of May, which caused the water level in the semi-closed pens to drop rapidly.

"Even though we were able to rectify the fault as soon as possible, the incident unfortunately led to damage to a large amount of fish in one of the pens," he told Kvinnheringen.

The fish in semi-closed pens like those at Slåttenes are dependent on the seawater constantly being replaced by pumps. Each of the relevant pens in Matersfjord is equipped with six electric-powered pumps that provide water intake. 

Trondheim-based company Fiizk has supplied the facilities - which are of the Ecomerden type - to Mowi in Matersfjord.