Escaped farmed salmon found surviving in the wild one year later

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The Directorate of Fisheries in Iceland said it caught 32 salmon in a stream in Westfjords, Iceland and discovered through preliminary DNA analysis that 16 of them were farmed salmon.

The directorate, Fiskistofa, said on Tuesday that there are indications the farmed salmon were among the fish that escaped a year ago from the farm of Arnarlax at Haganes in Arnarfjörðurm.

A 2×2-meter hole in one of the pens at the Arnarlax farm was discovered on August 30, 2021 during an underwater inspection. It was repaired subsequently. Arnarlax reported the incident to the agency shortly thereafter, saying that there were about 120,000 salmon with an average weight of 0.8 kg in the damaged pen.

Fiskistofa said another DNA analysis needs to be conducted to confirm the preliminary results. This will enable them to trace the origin of the farmed salmon in more detail, it said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority said that no diseases were found in the 16 farmed salmon.

“It’s pretty clear that this fish has escaped. As soon as we have all the facts, we will update this information,” an official told Iceland Review.