430 tonnes of salmon lost in chlorine leak: “This is very sad”

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Grieg Seafood has engaged Akvaplan Niva to conduct an independent investigation into the environmental impact of the leak into the fjord at the Simanes slaughterhouse.

Earlier today, it was announced that an incident had occurred at Grieg Seafood Finnmark’s slaughterhouse at Simanes in Alta, Norway when 15,000 litres of chlorine leaked into the fjord.

While the leak did not endanger employees or members of the public, 96,000 salmon that were being held in waiting cages at the slaughterhouse were killed. According to Grieg Seafood, this corresponds to approximately 430 tonnes.

Bottom samples
“We do not yet have a complete overview of how the leak has affected the environment in the fjord. Grieg Seafood Finnmark has engaged Akvaplan Niva to conduct an independent study of the environmental impact, including through bottom samples around the slaughterhouse. Chlorine is rapidly diluted and rapidly broken down in water, and from what we know today, the leak will have had a short-term, acute effect on organisms that were around the slaughterhouse when the incident occurred. The environmental survey, which is expected to take a few days, will provide a final answer.”

Grieg Seafood Finnmark is working to clean up the waiting cages. The slaughterhouse’s silage system and silage boats will take care of the dead fish, which are monitored continuously. It is expected that the clean-up will take a few days.

Grieg Seafood Finnmark is awaiting police investigations into the course of events that led to the leak. Grieg Seafood Finnmark is cooperating with all authorities in the case.

Cleanup
“This is very sad. Now we focus first and foremost on the clean-up. We will leave no stone unturned and get all the facts on the table so that this does not happen again,” said factory manager at Simanes, Stine Torheim.

In normal operation, chlorine is used to disinfect the processing water at the slaughterhouse, in accordance with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the environmental authorities’ regulations.

Financial consequences have not been clarified. The fish is insured. Grieg Seafood Finnmark will come out with more information when it is available.