Thousands of Salmon Escape from B.C. Farm
About 2,500 farmed Atlantic salmon escaped last week from a Vancouver Island, British Columbia, facility, the second escape from a Mainstream Canada farm in a little more than a year.
The fish escaped into Clayoquot Sound, on the island’s west coast, while a boat was harvesting fish from Mainstream’s Mussel Rock farm; the company is still trying to determine what happened.
The company suspended harvesting operations and notified provincial and federal officials, as well as the Ahousaht First Nation's fish farm committee.
Kevin Bruce, office coordinator for the Friends of Clayoquot Sound, told the Westcoaster.ca that Mainstream should use closed-containment operations.
“It’s unfortunate that Atlantic salmon are once again swimming in the Pacific Ocean,” Bruce said. “We hope they have a contingency plan in place to get back as many as they can.”
Mainstream Canada operates three hatcheries, 24 farms and two processing plants in Tofino, Campbell River and the Broughton Archipelago areas. In September 2007, salmon escaped from the company’s Saranac farm into Clayoquot Sound.