Tens of thousands of salmon die in Arctic chlorine leak
Nearly 100,000 farmed salmon are believed to have died in Norway after thousands of gallons of chlorine leaked into a fjord and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Associated Press reports that around 96,000 salmon died after a nearby tank leaked about 4,000 gallons of chlorine into their water.
The fish were being farmed by international seafood company Grieg Seafood and were being held in a cage at one of the company’s slaughterhouses. Chlorine is normally used to disinfect water after a slaughtering.
“We are connecting this to a chlorine leak,” Grieg Seafood spokesperson Roger Pedersen told Norwegian media, adding that the company was handling the incident “in a responsible way and was investigating why the leak occurred.”
IntraFish reports that as of Tuesday, the leak was ongoing.
“We are working to get an overview of what has happened and the consequences, and will come back when we know more. Relevant authorities have been notified,” Grieg Seafood communications manager Kristina Furnes told IntraFish.
No employees or any other people were harmed by the leak, IntraFish reports, though the company has not yet determined how this incident has affected the local environment. The news service notes that chlorine typically disperses and breaks down quickly in water.
“According to what we know today, the leak will have had a short-term, acute impact on organisms that were in the water around the harvesting plant when the incident occurred,” Furnes said.
IntraFish notes that the salmon killed in this spill will likely have a harvest value of around half of what they would normally go for, selling for about $3.4 million. The seafood company has said that it address the financial consequences at a later time.