UnderCurrent News, 5 March 2014: Morpol salmon farm loses some 150,000 fish in UK storms

Morpol salmon farm loses some 150,000 fish in UK storms

March 5, 2014, 5:01 pm

Undercurrent News

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Meridian Salmon Group, the UK salmon producer owned by Morpol, announced it has lost an estimated 54,569 fish due to storms in Shetland, northern Scotland.

The fish escaped from the company’s site Ness of Copister in Yell, Shetland, said a spokesperson.

The site suffered “serious damage as a result of the sustained, severe storms that have hit the region”, he said.

“Gale force winds and large swells caused a major failure of the mooring equipment which subsequently damaged a number of the eight cages on the site.

“Staff – including diving teams – have been working in very demanding conditions during the continued extreme weather to carry out repair and salvage operations and to try to assess the impact of the incident.

“There was in excess of 364,000 fish on the farm. Fish from three of the cages were safely removed during the initial salvage exercise.

“However, after weather conditions relented to allow a thorough site assessment, it has been determined that 154,569 fish were lost. All remaining fish on the site have also been removed to new locations.”

“Marine Scotland has been kept fully informed of the incident.”

“While it is widely accepted that we were dealing with exceptional weather conditions – local reports indicate the unrelenting gales that have battered the east coast of Yell are the worst in decades. However, losses like this are not acceptable and we will be carrying out a full review of our systems to ensure we have no similar incidents in the future.

“This will include discussions with mooring manufacturers and other mooring experts, after which, any recommendations for improvement will be implemented at the earliest opportunity.”

Meridian was formed in early 2011 from the merger of Northern Isles Salmon (formerly Mainstream Scotland) and Lakeland Group, both of which had been acquired by Morpol. It was then expanded with the acquisitions of Westray Salmon and Rysa Salmon.

Parts of the company are expected to be sold to new owners in the near future as Morpol and Marine Harvest were required to divest farming assets to clear Marine Harvest’s acquisition of Morpol.

http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/03/05/ex-morpol-salmon-farm-loses-some-150000-salmon-in-uk-storms/

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