Arnarlax salmon storm deaths – 570 tonnes lost – could have been avoided, says chairman

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Salmon deaths account for about four per cent of fish.

RUV reports that Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax – which to date has lost 570 tonnes of salmon in a heavy storm last week – may not have lost those fish if it had harvested them in December.

Arnarlax chairman Kjartan Olafsson told the publication that salmon were put in the cages last spring. Olafsson said he believed that had fish had been harvested in December before the sea cooled in the wake of bad weather, this could have been avoided.

“To have excess capacity to handle events like this, we need to look more closely,” said Kjartan.

SalmonBusiness reported last week the “Norwegian Gannet” was also en route to harvest fish. The harvest vessel is now on-site, but it has attracted criticism.

Angling outfit, the Federation of Icelandic River Owners, said it was concerned that the harvest vessel was hard to disinfest and therefore would carry diseases.

Veterinary Officer for Fish Diseases Gísli Jónsson told the publication that the ship had undergone a risk assessment and considerable disinfection equipment is on board. Furthermore, no salmon had been in the ship for eleven days prior to arriving in Iceland.