Atlantic Sapphire expects $3 million hit as incident causes loss of 400 tonnes of salmon

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Atlantic Sapphire Denmark loses equivalent of around 17 per-cent of annualized harvest volumes because of issue at one of its saltwater grow-out systems.

Atlantic Sapphire Denmark, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlantic Sapphire, reported that it had an incident on Friday at one of its saltwater grow-out systems.

Approximately 400 tonnes of fish are expected to be lost, equivalent of around 17 per-cent of annualized harvest volumes from the Denmark facility at steady-state production. The fish would have been harvestable in H2 this year. The direct financial impact of the incident after expected insurance proceeds is estimated to be USD 3 million.

“The company’s preliminary analysis, which remains subject to change, indicates that maintenance work performed in the filtration system caused water quality to quickly deteriorate, resulting in elevated mortality,” wrote Atlantic Sapphire in a statement on the stock exchange on Sunday.

“Atlantic Sapphire is continuously improving its operating procedures to ensure that all actions taken by the farm operators do not pose a risk to the stability of the systems, therefore impacting the fish. However, human error altered the water levels in the RAS system and allowed previously stagnant water to flow into the tanks. To minimize the risk of a similar incident reoccurring, the company has updated certain operating procedures and such changes will take effect immediately,” it added.

The system in question had a larger standing biomass than the grow-out systems in the US (split in two). The Denmark facility had not been split in two, because this modification was not practically possible with the farm fully stocked with fish.

The other grow-out system in the Denmark facility was unaffected.

“Now this modification is possible and will be performed, which will reduce the impact of future mortality events in a system,” wrote the land-based salmon farmer.