Algae bloom hits Grieg Seafood farms in British Columbia, killing 250,000 salmon

Published on
June 8, 2018

An algae bloom in the Jervis Inlet in British Columbia, Canada, has killed an estimated 250,000 fish at two Grieg Seafood’s salmon farms in the area.

The Bergen, Norway-headquartered company, which operates several salmon farms and a hatchery in British Columbia, said an outbreak of heterosigma, a species of microscopic algae, spread in high concentration through the entire water column in the inlet. 

“Grieg Seafood continuously works to improve biosecurity and all of Grieg Seafood’s sites perform algal monitoring by taking daily samples which are analyzed using advanced image analysis techniques. This allows for the identification of the species, prevalence and depth distribution of any algae present,” the company said in a press release. 

However, due to the abundance of the algae, the company said use of aeration treatments or other measures to protect its fish “could not prevent the incident.”

The bloom killed an estimated 50 percent of the fish at the two sites, a total loss estimated at 1,000 tons. The fish were scheduled to be harvested in the second half of 2018, the company said.

In its release, Grieg Seafood said it carried insurance, and that the estimated cost of the die-off, including individual share of insurance, will total around  NOK 25 million (USD 3.1 million, EUR 2.6 million). That cost will be realized on the company’s second-quarter financial statement, Grieg said.

Photo courtesy of Blueday Technologies

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