Cooke loses salmon to superchilled water

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Cooke Aquaculture reports mortalities at Kelly Cove Salmon farm in Coffin Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The salmon farmer has lost over 10,000 fish because of a so-called “superchill”. In a statement sent to the N.S. Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture on Wednesday, Cooke Aquaculture Vice President Public Relations Joel Richardson wrote that:

“Kelly Cove Salmon farm staff are removing deceased salmon this week from their aquaculture site at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, following severe winter cold water temperatures earlier this month. Staff have been diving and monitoring the fish.

“The company notified the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in accordance with the province’s aquaculture regulations and will continue to provide the Province regular updates. The company is following its Farm Management plan. The company also advised the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Region of Queens Municipality.

“All livestock farmers encounter and manage mortalities. As per the companies normal and authorized practice, mortalities are removed by trained divers and technicians, brought to shore and disposed of at an approved rendering facility.

Coffin Island, Nova Scotia, Canada: Google Maps

Most winters, Nova Scotia’s marine waters stay above freezing. “Superchills” happen when cold temperatures drop to the temperature of the water to the level that fish blood freezes, at around –0.7 C. Novia Scotia authorities say that they happen every five to seven years but Cooke was hit by a similar event four years ago, across three sites.

Yesterday, Undercurrent confirmed that Cooke lost 10,000 salmon due to the event. SalmonBusiness has contacted the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Cooke Aquaculture to find out what weight the fish were that died.