Why is Atlantic Sapphire destroying 62.5% of its emergency harvest?

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Atlantic Sapphire had to pay dearly for its unfinished facility.

Atlantic Sapphire reported on Tuesday, workers at its Miami site were forced to initiate an emergency harvest from one of its grow-out systems.

Close to 200,000 fish with a total weight of approximately 400 tonnes are expected to be harvested, of which only 150 tonnes are planned to be sent for processing and will be sold.

This means that 250 tonnes of salmon (62.5 per-cent) – equivalent to 13 fully loaded trucks – will be sent straight into the meat grinder.

“The permanent fish movement system and permanent emergency harvest facility are not yet completed, it has not been possible to harvest and process the full affected biomass in the time span necessary for processing for human consumption,” explained Atlantic Sapphire Press & Community Engagement Manager Lola Navarro to SalmonBusiness.

According to sources inside the giant land-based salmon farm an hour’s drive outside Miami, water temperatures in some of the tanks at the facility may have been up to 21 degrees celcius, which is very unfavourable to salmon.

Navarro denied that this was a problem.

“We normally don’t comment on the specifics of the operations, but water temperature in the affected tanks was normal and stable, and this has not been a factor in this event. After initial investigation the factors mentioned in the statement appear to be the most likely cause of the increased stress levels that led to the emergency harvest,” added Navarro.