Meridian salmon farm. (Photo Credit: Meridian Salmon Group)
Over 155,000 salmon lost due to gales
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
Recent strong winds and heavy seas have been blamed for the fault which allowed about 155,000 salmon to escape from a fish farm in Shetland, according to its operators.
Meridian Salmon Group, one of the top five salmon farming companies in Scotland that is located on the island of Yell, had more than 364,000 salmon in cages before extreme weather conditions affected them, BBC reported.
A company spokesman pointed out: "Gale force winds and large swells caused a major failure of the mooring equipment which subsequently damaged a number of the eight cages on the site.”
It was stressed that although during the rough sea period diving teams worked to carry out repair and salvage operations, it was not possible to prevent the fish from escaping.
Meridian remarked that most salmon specimens were presumed to have escaped although there had also been some mortalities in the damaged cages.
All of the remaining salmon on the site have been moved to new locations.
Meridian claimed the unrelenting gales that have battered the east coast of Yell were the worst in decades, but it now plans to review its mooring systems to make sure no similar incidents take place in the future.
According to the company sources, it was only now able to make a statement as it has taken until earlier this week to complete its mandatory report to government agency Marine Scotland.
The firm informed that no monetary value has yet been put on the loss.