Featured image: Mowi’s Colonsay, Scotland net farm
How many more times do net-pen-style salmon farms have to fail for them to be banned? The practice is on its way out in many nations, including Denmark and Canada. Sadly, it is still widely used in other regions, and once again, a net-pen salmon farm has collapsed off the west coast of Scotland and released 73,600 farmed salmon into the sea after being struck by Storm Brendan, who brought 80 mph winds and rough seas with him.
Unintentional releases like this are the exact reason net-pen farms need to be a thing of the past. In Norway, escaped farmed salmon have been blamed for cutting the country’s wild Atlantic Salmon populations in half, due to interbreeding between genetically superior wild fish and their farmed counterparts.
The farm that collapsed yesterday was owned by Mowi Scotland. Mowi informed the public about the release when they discovered it during a post-storm inspection on the net pens.
“We are very disappointed that this structural failure has occurred,” said David MacGillivray, Mowi’s regional farm manager. “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.”
“The farm’s net pens exceed both the Scottish and Norwegian technical standards for net pen design,” Mowi added.
Winter storms, like Storm Brendan, are not uncommon off the coast of Scotland, and it is appalling, at least to this writer, that these net pens “exceed both the Scottish and Norwegian technical standards” and yet in the notoriously stormy North Atlantic, they are still being used by both nations.