Aquaculture North America

Mowi Canada East reports major salmon mortality due to low DO

September 13, 2021
By ANA staff

Mowi’s ‘ambitious’ growth strategy for its eastern Canada unit was revised recently to make allowances for the unique challenges in salmon farming in the region, particularly in Newfoundland. (Photo: Mowi)

Almost 93,000 salmon have died at Mowi Canada East’s Marine Harvest Atlantic Canada in Newfoundland.

This is according to a report submitted to the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture. According to Newfoundland and Labrador’s aquaculture regulations, abnormal salmon mortality – which is defined as more than 10 per cent of its stock – must be publicly reported.

The reported cause for the salmon mortality is due to a “sudden low dissolved oxygen levels” at the farm site. The salmon averaged three kilograms in size and were scheduled to be harvested before the end of the year.

The company assured in a public statement that “this development will not change those plans.” Mowi also said that further study is underway to determine the exact cause of the low dissolved oxygen and develop further mitigation strategies to prevent recurrence.

“We cannot speculate on the exact cause for the drop in dissolved oxygen levels at this time, however, lower dissolved oxygen levels are generally associated with higher summer water temperatures and abundance of plankton,” Mowi spokesperson told Aquaculture North America.

“One cannot stop low levels of oxygen occurring at sea, but taking from this event, we will increase our monitoring in this particular area in the future and use this information to help mitigate this event from occurring again.”

(With files from The Canadian Press)

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