FIE Press Release 3 Nov 2013: Marine Harvest Irish third quarter loses €4 million to ‘exceptional mortalities’

Marine Harvest Irish third quarter loses €4 million to ‘exceptional mortalities’



Marine Harvest Irish third quarter loses €4 million to ‘exceptional mortalities’

Environmentalists claim losses show economic failure of open cage salmon farming.

Marine Harvest, the Norwegian company who produce 80% of Ireland’s farmed salmon, have reported production down by 36% with exceptional losses of €4 million for 2013 Q3. Overall, the company posted loses of €2.7 million for the quarter, the only Marine Harvest operation internationally to report losses.

The details are given in the company’s third quarter Report, published last week. The Report refers to ‘challenging conditions’ in Ireland and gave ‘exceptional mortality’ as the cause of the loses.

Disease, parasites, and adverse biological events are cited.

A spokesman for Friends of the Irish Environment said that ‘The industry is beginning to accept that closed containment systems, which are now coming into production around the world, are the only way forward. By separating the farmed fish from the natural environment, disease and parasites can be controlled without adverse effects on other species and the effluent recycled rather than polluting local waters.’

Marine Harvest Third Quarter Report

Click to access 582554.pdf

Verification and comment: Tony Lowes 027 74771 087 2176316

Editors Notes

Highlights of the Marine Harvest Third Quarter Report

Sea lice (page 14), high occurrences of algae blooms and jelly fish as well as Pancreatic Disease [PD] and Amoebic Gill Disease AGD are cited (pages 12).

Exceptional items, given as mortality, are €4 million (page 24) for overall loses of €2.7 million (page 4).

The third quarter report notes that record sea water temperatures of 21 degrees (page 11) were a factor in the proliferation of parasites and disease and may be connected to the increase in algae blooms and jellyfish.

It says ‘High seawater temperatures have contributed to lice levels above the 2012 level in Scotland and Ireland’, (page 14) pointing out that as with the rest of the industry, Marine Harvest has a limited insurance coverage against adverse biological events.

Gill Disease [AGD] (page 14)
AGD is now present on many Irish salmon farms, reducing fish appetite and so uptake of in–feed chemicals required to control parasites

Control of AGD requires bringing well boats containing fresh water to the farms and bathing the fish for three hours. The additional costs are substantial.

The company has two planning applications before local authorities on Clare Island and West Cork for impoundment areas to collect fresh water for the treatment. Cork County Council’s grant of planning permission has been appealed by the charity An Taisce.

Environmentalists have pointed out that aside from the impact of sea lice on returning wild salmon, turbot, bass, bream, sea urchins and crabs are vulnerable to AGD, putting at risk native industries.

Pancreas disease (page 11).
Pancreas disease (PD) is currently the most serious of the viral infections affecting Norwegian farmed salmon and was present for the first time in Ireland during 2013, severely affecting two sites. The disease leads to increased mortality, weight loss and low fish product quality. It therefore has a significant influence on fish welfare and on profitability in the aquaculture industry.

Both infected and dead salmon can shed the salmonid pancreas disease virus into the sea. Recent research shows how the virus particles can be spread by the wind and ocean currents from one fish farm to the next along the coast.


One thought on “FIE Press Release 3 Nov 2013: Marine Harvest Irish third quarter loses €4 million to ‘exceptional mortalities’

  1. Just for general information.
    Marine Harvest is not Norwegian, it is quoted on the Oslo Stock Exchange but it is 70% owned by Non-Norwegians.

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