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Some 68,000 salmon are estimated to have escaped from a Norway Royal Salmon farm in early December, said the company.
On Dec. 7, NRS reported that fish had escaped from one of its cages in Klungsholmen, near Espevaer (an island in southwestern Norway, located roughly half way between Stavanger and Bergen).
According to the company, the pen held 129,067 salmon with an average weight of 2.88 kilos before the incident.
A counting of the fish on Dec. 20 showed that some 68,009 salmon went missing from the pen, NRS said on Jan 2, 2014.
Only 347 fish were caught in re-capture efforts, it said.
“The general margin of error when counting fish with wellboats is 2-3%. Even when accounting for this, one can unfortunately conclude that a large escape has occurred,” said a regional director at Norway’s fisheries directorate, Vidar Ulriksen, in a statement.
NRS said it has started a full review of its equipment and internal routines to find out the cause of the incident and take potential corrective measures. The company, which has a zero-escape policy, said it has no new information on the cause for the event.
On its side, the Norwegian fisheries directorate said it suspected that the escape could have been caused by a breach in the aquaculture regulations, and said the police is therefore looking into the matter.