The tuna that got into one of the pens at Sandnes Fish Farm on October 19.

Another week, another tuna in a salmon pen in Norway

The big fish are becoming more frequent visitors and an increasing problem


A salmon farm in Vestland county, Norway has become the latest of several in the country that have found a tuna in a fish pen this year.

On October 19, a tuna burst into the cage of Sandnes Fish Farm, in Fjaler municipality in Sunnfjord.

Veronica Sandnes, quality manager in the company, told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site that the fish weighed 370 kg and was 2.77 metres long.

“This is the first time we have experienced a tuna in our cage, and it was discovered at night, during preparations for the delivery of fish,” said Sandnes.

No salmon caught

She added that the company’s fish escape response plan was initiated straight away, and recapture nets were deployed immediately after the incident.

“We have not caught salmon in these. Divers were also quickly on site and repaired the net, as well as checked the other cages with fish in them at the site.”

Veronica Sandnes, quality manager at Sandnes Fish Farming.

After the company had arranged for a permit, the tuna was killed by an approved hunter. It was picked up by local fishermen and will be sold on for food.

“Our skilled workers have had a hectic time, and we have been able to test the preparedness with good results. We also register that there are several facilities that are experiencing tuna in their nets, and this is worrying,” said Sandnes, who added that the company would be interested to learn if there was emerging knowledge on how to prevent tuna incursions.

Increasing sightings has previously written several articles about tuna that have broken into salmon pens this year. Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries has told that the tuna population is increasing, and it believes that tuna breaking into cages is a problem that will increase.

Erlend Vassbotten, general manager of Steinvik Fiskefarm, which had a tuna in a pen earlier this year, told that there has been an increase in both tuna observed around facilities along the coast and several cases where tuna got into cages.

Tuna have also occasionally entered salmon pens in Scotland. In July, the UK Government announced that it had secured 65 tonnes of bluefin tuna fishing quota for 2023, an increase on the quota in 2021 and 2022. The quota is being used to trial a new small-scale commercial fishery wich opened on August 1 and closes on November 30.