Faulty net pen enables mass salmon escape at storm-hit Mowi Scotland farm

Published on
January 22, 2020

Roughly 73,600 salmon weighing an average of 1.9 kilograms were lost from a single net pen during a recent storm, Mowi Scotland has confirmed.

A post-storm inspection revealed structural failure of the pen, causing a tear in the netting. Mowi said the other net pens at the site have been confirmed as secure. 

The loss of fish has been reported to the regulator.

“We are very disappointed that this structural failure has occurred,” Mowi’s regional farm manager David MacGillivray said. “Despite storm Brendan severely battering many parts of Scotland’s coast last week and Colonsay being a remote and particularly exposed location, we expect our modern infrastructure to withstand these challenges.”

Mowi said the farm’s net pens exceed both the Scottish and Norwegian technical standards for net pen design. The company and equipment supplier are now reviewing the net pen’s manufacturing process. 

According to Mowi ASA’s latest trading update, its Scottish operations harvested 14,000 metric tons (MT) of gutted weight equivalent (GWE) salmon in the fourth-quarter of 2019, up from 12,000 MT in the final three months of 2018. 

Photo courtesy of Mowi Scotland

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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