A research team at the Marine Institute, Ireland, has looked into the extent, size and knowledge of the causes of escapes from marine fin fish farms in Europe over a three year period.
- "Norway has the most comprehensive record of escapes, dating back approximately 15 years for salmonids and 5 years for Atlantic cod. A total of 722,000 and 963,000 salmon and rainbow trout were reported to have escaped from Norwegian farms in 2005 and 2006, respectively (Norwegian Fisheries Directorate, 2007)."
- "The real number of escapes has by some been estimated to be considerably greater (Torrissen, 2007) because not all escape incidents are believed to be reported."
- "Substantial escape events of salmon have also occurred in other major salmonid producing countries, such as Scotland, Chile and Canada (Naylor et al., 2005 and Soto et al., 2001)."
- "Over one million salmon were reported to have escaped from Scottish farms during the period from 2002 to 2006 (Thorstad et al., 2008)."
- There were significant numbers of finfish escapes in all of the areas studied (8.9 million fish over the period of the study). The nominal cost of these escapes at point of first sale is very significant in terms of lost income (€47.5 million per annum). Implications of the escape incidents have been shown to have negative effects on the viability of individual commercial concerns.
- The public perception of the aquaculture industry has also been adversely affected by publicity surrounding high profile escape incidents.
- Two key drivers towards reducing escapes identified by the industry were standards for materials and site specific procedures and processes to ensure the use of appropriate equipment and its maintenance.
"Reducing escapes" is not good enough. Escapes should not happen at all. Closed systems are needed for this and other reasons e.g. sea lice. There are 400 times more farmed salmon in cages than wild ones in the sea (as said at time 4:36 here):
Some salmon rivers have far more escaped than wild salmon in them. In fact, it could make sense to give the escapees their own Latin species name. That's not fun.
Read full article here:
The paper (incl tables) here: