One of the world’s largest seafood companies and the largest producer of Atlantic salmon, Marine Harvest, lost 175,000 salmon in Scotland while treating the fish for lice and disease.
Though 95 percent of the lice were killed at the fish farm, the incident cost Marine Harvest more than £2.7 million, and the Norwegian company suffered a 16 percent drop in Scottish salmon production, The Ferret reported.
This isn’t the first instance of accidentally killing massive amounts of fish: Just this past summer, approximately 95,400 fish were killed on a salmon farm in Loch Greshornish, on the Isle of Skye, by a new device called the Thermoslicer. The device, from an aquaculture company called Steinsvik, is a chemical and drug-free treatment system that suddenly increases water temperature to kill sea lice, according to the Steinsvik website. However, the quick change in temperature can also accidentally kill the fish, which is what happened to the Marine Harvest salmon.
The series of salmon deaths has caused anti-fish farm protesters to speak up. The Compassion in World Farming animal welfare group is opposed to the “brutal form of treatment” of the Thermoslicer.
“Killing fish by overheating, whether accidental or not, is simply inhumane,” the group’s chief executive, Philip Lymbery, told The Ferret. “All current forms of treating sea lice entail problems.”