NL’s fisheries minister says Northern Harvest lost “no more than 2 million fish” and “would caution before anyone draws a conclusion on photos”

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Province’s fisheries minister Gerry Byrne also appeared to be questioning CBC’s reporting on Northen Harvest salmon mortality on social media.

CBC reports that NL fisheries minister Gerry Byrne said that the number fish is impossible to be more than two million salmon, since that is the capacity of the pens.

The Mowi-owned Northern Harvest put in place a Mass Mortality plan after a yet-undisclosed amount of salmon died in Newfoundland, Canada.

Byrne added that there are may be live fish in some of the sites.

“The total stocking density of all the sites that were impacted was no greater than two million fish and the number of mortalities is not two million, it is less than that. That number will be revealed when the information is compiled, but you can’t report something that you don’t know,” he told the publication.

Byrne said once the independent review results are available to government, they will be publicly released.

SalmonBusiness has contacted NL authorities several times since the story broke and have not received any information about the incident, apart from to confirm the airlifted diver story.

The outspoken fisheries minister also appeared to be questioning CBC’s coverage of the deaths, tweeting: “I suggested that people reflect, as with the seal hunt, science is a better resource for conclusions then photos,” wrote Byrne. Senior CBC reporter Chris O’Neill-Yates said that: “it’s our job to report our findings to the public and we have done so fairly”.

A spokesperson for Northern Harvest told SalmonBusiness yesterday that it will issue mortality numbers shortly.