The Star

Stop work order issued on diving operations at NL salmon farm after die-off

Canadian Press

Oct 7, 2019
The massive die-off appears to be causing conflicts between safety organizations and the salmon farming company involved. Atlantic Salmon Federation/Bill Bryden
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Cleanup efforts continue after a mass die-off at a southern Newfoundland salmon farm, despite challenges including a stop work order on diving activities.

The province ordered a suspension of diving operations at Northern Harvest Sea Farms’ Harbour Breton site after an “incident” involving a contracted diver over the weekend.

The Occupational Health and Safety branch of Service NL has also issued a stop work order to Strickland’s Diving for all work sites as officers investigate the Saturday incident.

Northern Harvest, which is owned by a Norwegian company, had hired divers from Strickland’s for the cleanup of an unconfirmed number of penned salmon whose deaths were detected in early September.

The company attributed the deaths to lack of oxygen as the fish clustered together while seeking relief from higher-than-usual water temperatures. It says cleanup work continues while dives are suspended.

Northern Harvest has also responded to concerns about fat from decomposing fish that’s been observed in the water around some sea cages, saying it is not harmful to human health and will be cleaned up. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2019.

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