Marine Institute Reaches Agreement to Review South Coast Salmon Die-Off

Nov 22, 2019
The die-off of 2.6 Million farmed salmon is being officially investigated by the Marine Institute. The choice of organization has raised concerns due to its ties to the aquaculture industry. Atlantic Salmon Federation/Bill Bryden
The Marine Institute has reached an agreement with the provincial fisheries department to conduct a review of the deaths of about 2.6-million farmed salmon off the south coast earlier this year.

The Marine Institute will examine the timelines of what happened, the provincial aquaculture veterinarian’s report into the vent, and other relevant information.

The key objectives of the review will be to identify the cause of the mass mortality and assess the subsequent clean-up effort.

Northern Harvest contends the fish died as the result of an extended period of warm water. Fish in sea cages tried to congregate in deeper, cooler water, but suffocated from a lack of oxygen.

It was weeks after the fish died that the public became aware of the incident. The FFAW publicly raised questions about the die-off about three weeks after the minister was made aware of it.

Some vocal critics have questioned the impartiality of the Marine Institute in conducting such a review, citing their involvement in developing the local aquaculture industry.

The Marine Institute’s final report will be submitted to the department along with recommendations to prevent future occurrences, improve reporting requirements and improve response efforts by the industry.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of February of next year.


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