Mowi salmon cage catches fire – 21,000 fish were in pen

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Yet unknown amount of salmon have escaped from a Mowi farm in Vancouver, Western Canada. 

On Sunday, divers at Mowi Canada West’s Robertson Island farm pen confined that around 21,000 fish were inside the pen near Port Hardy when a fire broke out sometime overnight between Thursday and Friday, the salmon farmer wrote in a statement.

The cause of the fire has not been determined but Mowi said it believes that it was an electrical fire. The damaged pen has been towed and a full investigation to determine the incident’s root cause.

Anti salmon farming campaigner Tavish Campbell has taken drone footage of the burnt cage, which was used by Global News.

The farm was being harvested last week, so most fish had already been removed from the pen. Approximately 21,000 remained at the time of the fire and its not yet known exactly how many escaped.

Farm workers noticed noted damage to one pen during routine work the morning of December 20. Mowi said it immediately notified supervisors, who dispatched crews to the site and notified DFO and local First Nations.

“The escaped fish are farm animals unaccustomed to living in the wild, and thus unable to forage for their own food and easy prey. Judging by the number of sea lions congregating near the involved farm it is likely many have already been eaten by predators. That said, we take our responsibility to prevent any impacts seriously, and will take every reasonable action to do so,” added a Mowi spokesperson.

“We apologize for this incident. We are determined to mitigate any impacts and do everything we can to minimize the risk of something similar happening in the future,” it wrote.