Aquaculture North America

Electrical fire caused 20,000 salmon to escape Mowi’s B.C. facility

December 31, 2019
By ANA staff

An electrical fire at Mowi Canada’s British Columbia facility has caused about 20,000 salmon to escape.

Mowi issued a statement saying that a failure of the Robertson Island farm’s electrical system – which was installed only two years ago – was the root cause of a fire on Dec. 20 that damaged floats supporting the pen and its surrounding netting.

The pen was partially submerged, allowing most of the 21,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon to escape in to the B.C. coast. Workers had finished harvesting only a few days prior to the incident and have since removed 1,200 of the remaining salmon from the pen.

“While many of the escaped fish have likely been eaten by seals and sea lions congregating in the area, we will be working to recover as many of the remaining salmon as possible,” said Mowi spokesperson Chris Read in a statement on Dec. 24. “We are coordinating with the DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) and area First Nations to survey streams and other waterways in the region starting this week in order to catch any Atlantic salmon observed.”


Mowi dispatched a team of divers and a harvest boat the day after the fire to assess the extent of the damage and escape.

The damaged pen will be towed to a secure site on land for further investigation. Mowi also looks to inspect the electrical systems of all its facilities in the coming days.

“We have used net pens of this design for more than 20 years in B.C. with few issues, but if our investigation turns up any actions we can take to ensure this does not happen again we will take them,” said in the statement.

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