Mowi’s Northern Harvest flushes pink liquid out to sea after mass mortality

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Yet unknown amount of salmon have died at Mowi-owned salmon farmer in Newfoundland, Canada.

The mortality was reported in late September and large numbers have been speculated but not confirmed.

CBC reports that a huge cleanup operation is underway in Fortune Bay, where Northern Harvest Sea Farms is emptying out its salmon pens following a massive fish die-off.

Yesterday Newfoundland Canada’s chief aquaculture veterinarian Daryl Whelan says warm water led to low oxygen levels causing mass mortalities.

A video reportage from the publication appear to show huge amounts of pink liquid flowing from the side of two large vessels at one cleanup site in Fortune Bay. Large amounts of white fatty matter can also be seen on the ocean surface.

Mowi spokesperson Jason Card told CBC: “Folks needn’t be worried about the fat as well because the fat is a natural part of the decomposition of fish when they die in the ocean, and it dissolves. So it’s not a concern, it doesn’t carry any environmental risk.”

On Northern Harvest’s Facebook page, it posted:

• The fat seen on the water is part of a natural process of fish decomposition.

• It is not harmful to human health in any way.

• We are collecting the fat we observe from the water as part of clean up efforts. It is important to know that fats observed on the water break up relatively quickly through exposure to sun, wave, wind and current, and have no long lasting effects.

“We continue to employ all available resources to clean all sites as quickly as possible, with mortalities being sent to a rendering plant to be used for a variety of purposes. We are preparing to enhance our cage equipment to protect our fish from the new climate realities we have experienced this year to prevent the recent fish mortalities from ever happening again. We remain in continuous contact with local stakeholders, and remain committed to using best practice to produce premium product that benefits the communities where we operate,” it added.

SalmonBusiness initially reported that dead salmon had been flushed out to sea. According to Mowi, this is not dead fish but all salmon mortalities are being taken to a rendering plant and turned into a variety of products by a third party company.