Huon Aquaculture reveal number of escaped salmon

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In May, the Tasmanian salmon farm was hit by one if it’s worst storms in decades, releasing thousands of fish into the wild.

At the time, reports claimed that up to 250,000 Atlantic salmon were on the loose after escaping from Australia-based Huon Aquaculture’s pens after extreme weather near Bruny Island in the Tasman Sea.

But according to the site ABC news that number is now confirmed to be around 120,000. The company said it reported that number to authorities but it was not publicly disclosed.

“It is important to note that fish escapes are rare, but it was an exceptional weather event during which waves of over 11 metres passed through our Storm Bay lease,” the company said in a statement.

Huon Aquaculture – who grow 20 thousand tonnes of salmon a year – are seeking to expand their operations with off-shore farming. They also have plans to double production in the coming decade, with much of it in Storm Bay, where the escape happened.

Talking to the publication, the head of Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Wes Ford said there was a widely held view held among the public that the salmon farming industry needed to be more open about its operations.

“I believe there should be greater transparency, I think, as does the industry, and as does the Government,” Mr Ford said.