If you’re near the Kornstadfjord in Nordmøre, throw out this line: many farmed halibut go astray.
On Monday 4 July, Nordic Halibut AS discovered a large crack in one of the nets at Ørjavik in Hustatvika municipality.
14,000 halibut were netted. Since then, an agricultural company and local fishermen have grown to close to a thousand.
– Nordic Halibut’s CEO Edward Henton tells VG that anyone is allowed to fish there as long as they stay 200 meters from the facility.
Intrafish First mentioned the incident.
Henton says they don’t know how the relatively large hole in the net got there. The leading theory is that a ship has cut a net, perhaps one of their own.
— We do not think so many escaped, as we have good fish left in the net. We were hopeful that thousands more would not go astray, says the Nordic Halibut boss.
The fish that have been in the sea for three years have reached an average weight of six kilograms. Those trapped will be slaughtered in August. Only then does it become clear how many people have fled.
– Halibut are very local, so we hope to be able to fish most of them again, says Henton, who confirms that a hundred are caught a day.
For the reputation of Nordic halibut, the escape is unfortunate.
– We have used a lot of resources to avoid escape. The whole concept is to keep them captive, we don’t want to spread. It’s all about biosecurity, Henton says.
Directorate of Fisheries Division Manager Ruth L. Cjambenes tells IntraFish that the risk of genetic influence is minimal when salmon escape.
She explains that halibut don’t go up rivers like salmon. Additionally, because halibut do not travel as far or move as fast, the chance of recapture is good.
– The halibut now being bred does not have many generations of wild halibut, which also reduces the risk of a negative impact on the genetics of the wild halibut, says Division Manager Kjambens to IntraFish.
The map shows where the halibut escaped:
Wild halibut live by eating other fish and marine life.
The largest documented halibut caught in Norwegian waters in nets off Sorøya in western Finland in October 2007 weighed 314.5 kg. Wikipedia.
“Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru.”