Cooke Aquaculture salmon escape Canada facility

Published on
September 13, 2019

Researchers from the Atlantic Salmon Federation in New Brunswick, Canada have caught more than 50 salmon after they escaped from a nearby Cooke Aquaculture site, according to a Canadian Press report. 

The Cooke site is located near Dear Island and, according to Atlantic Salmon Federation spokesman Neville Crabbe, around 1,000 salmon escaped from that location on 20 August. 

Cooke Vice President of Public Relations Joel Richardson said that a hose was being used to collect salmon from a cage when it broke and released the fish. 

Initially 2,500 were thought to have escaped, but the number was later revised down to 1,000 when hundreds of fish were found on the deck of the ship. 

The salmon in question were trying to enter the Magaguadavid River, near the border of Maine and Canada, through a fishway. The fish were euthanized and sent to government scientists to be analyzed. 

Crabbe says that the escape should raise red flags for those concerned about native fish. 

“These are Atlantic salmon, although they have been domesticated over many generations and have been selected for traits that are not advantageous in the wild," he said. "So when you have spawning that's occurring between aquaculture escapees and wild fish, you are wiping away potentially 10,000 years of evolution in a single spawning event."

The 53 fish caught are the most escaped fish re-captured since 2013, when 91 fish were caught in a live trap on the top of a fish ladder at the same river.   

Photo courtesy of Cooke Aquaculture

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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