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article imageNorwegian fish farm offers €60 reward for escaped salmon

By Anne Sewell     Nov 20, 2013 in World
A violent storm over last weekend allowed thousands of salmon to make a big escape from the Marine Harvest fish farm in Norway. Now anyone who catches one and returns it will receive a 500 kroner (60 euros, $80) reward for their trouble.
The fish farm, located in western Norway, was hit by strong winds at the weekend, damaging the massive, submerged cage in which 127,000 salmon are kept by Marine Harvest, who are the world's largest producer of salmon.
Workers at Marine Harvest attempted to catch the runaways by deploying nets in surrounding areas, but decided it was a good idea to also offer a reward. Anyone who finds one of these two kilogram (4.4 pound) fish will receive a welcome 500 kroner (60 euros, $80) reward per fish returned.
Industry professionals are concerned, as these escaping fish could damage the surrounding marine ecosystem. Farmed salmon weakens the genetic makeup of their cousins in the wild, should they mate and reproduce. Using the submerged cages, they have avoided this in the past and have for the most part reduced the number of escapees, until this storm hit of course.
Marte Grindaker, spokeswoman for Marine Harvest, told Al Jazeera TV News:
"Marine Harvest takes the incident very seriously. We acknowledge that escapes can have a negative impact on wild salmon, and we have a goal of zero escapes."
According to the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate, in 2012, 38,000 salmon managed to escape, which is ten times less than in 2011. Also the figure is massively decreased from the number of 921,000 salmon lost in 2006.
When asked if anyone had claimed a reward yet and how many fish had actually escaped, Grindaker said that as far as she knew, none had been returned and the company could not give an accurate figure saying:
“We will count the fish as soon as the weather conditions improve. We cannot do that at the moment due to the weather, which is quite harsh now.”
More about Norway, Salmon, Marine harvest, Storm
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