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NL increases mortality estimate from south coast salmon die-off to 220T

Sep 22, 2021

Featured image
Cleanup with fat and decomposed salmon tissue on the water at The Gorges site on NL south coast. Photo courtesy Bill Bryden
On September 11, 2021, the company reported 92,700 affected fish from a total site number of 900,000, resulting from a sudden drop in low dissolved oxygen levels.

As of September 21, 2021, the mortality count is 212,100 salmon – approximately 24 per cent of fish on site. Under Newfoundland and Labrador’s aquaculture AP 17 Public Reporting Policy, abnormal mortality of equivalent of 10 per cent or higher must be publicly reported. The company’s updated report is posted on the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association’s website.

Mowi released a statement saying that it expects up to 450,000 dead salmon will be removed in total.

This is a site-specific event, and no abnormal mortalities have been identified at other nearby sites. The affected fish were at marketable size, and removal efforts are ongoing. Harvesting of the remaining live fish began on September 20.

Under oversight of the department, the company is taking all responsible steps to address the incident. Mitigation measures include deeper nets and aeration equipment at the site. Department staff have been conducting sampling and observing seining activities, with the full cooperation of the company.

The company’s public reporting confirms that government’s strengthened public reporting policy is working. Marine Harvest Atlantic Canada has been fully transparent and cooperative with the department.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to a strong aquaculture industry that is safe and transparent, and provides economic stability in rural areas.