Cermaq has removed 130 000 salmon from three Canadian farms because of algae bloom

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Sites located along the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, are experiencing mortalities due to algae blooms in the area. Salmon farmers says “algae skirts or bubble curtains are not effective.”

Cermaq has told SalmonBusiness that it has removed 130 000 salmon from its pens since it reported the event on Monday.

It expects to have full mortality numbers by the end of the week.

Three of its farms – Binns Island, Bawden Point and Ross Pass – all located within our Tofino operating area, are experiencing harmful algae blooms which are affecting the salmon farmer’s fish.

Cermaq Communications Manager Astrid Aam told SalmonBusiness: “We are currently experiencing mortalities due to a harmful algae bloom consisting of the species Chatocerous Convolutuson at three farms located along the west coast of Vancouver Island. The first mortality occurred in the beginning of last week. Efforts have been made to avoid further stress on surviving fish and maximize animal welfare, and dead fish have been continuously collected and are being transported for use in either rendering or compost.

“Collection and transport follow strict bio security processes. So far we have removed 130 000 fish. Before the algae bloom hit, we had a total of 1.4 million fish in these three farm sites. We expect to be finished with removing the mortalities by the end of this week. However, this depends on the further development of the bloom.

“All three farms have been taking measures to reduce the risk for such events, but as the bloom is found also under the usual depths, some of our tools like algae skirts or bubble curtains are not effective.”