130,000 salmon in the sea as Huon Aquaculture is hit with second escape just days after another: “Hugely concerning”

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Second large escape and significant loss of stock for Tasmanian salmon farmer.

Only a week after Huon Aquaculture reported that a blaze had melted through a pen infrastructure, resulting in a 52,000 salmon escape, it has happened again, but on a larger scale.

In a statement posted on the company’s site on Wednesday, Huon Aquaculture founder and CEO Peter Bender writes that between 120,000 and 130,000 have escaped from their Yellow Bluff lease in Storm Bay.

The site had a tear in its inner net (approximately 4m below the surface down to the base of the net). The fish had an average weight of around 550 grams.

Bender said that due to their small size these fish are unlikely to survive in the marine environment. He added that this incident, coupled with the fire at a pen in the Lower Channel last week, “is hugely concerning”.

“The direction of the prevailing winds would indicate that weather is not the cause of the net tear,” he said.

“In accordance with our regulatory requirements, this incident was reported to Government yesterday (Wednesday). Crews have continued working through the night to assess and review this incident with no clear cause identified.

“Internal investigations in relation to last week’s fire at a pen in the Lower Channel are also still ongoing with no clear cause yet identified,” added Bender.