Shetland Island salmon farm breaks free

Danger to shipping as farm cages drift through North Sea

A total of 12 100ft wide cages are currently drifting in the North Sea after one of the links forming a circle failed resulting in a trail of cages.  

Owners of the farm, Unst Ltd, privately contracted a tug to rescue the cages, however, the commissioned tug was unable to tow the cages, resulting in the operation being scrapped. They abandoned the cages 40 miles east of Whalsay, the sixth largest of the Shetland Islands, 45 miles from where they were originally anchored, but with the wind pushing them towards Norway.

As well as a shipping danger, there is also an environmental risk, as this number of farmed salmon breaking out could cause problems to wild stock should they interbreed.  

Ewan Kennedy of the saveseilsound campaign says the maximum number of salmon permitted by the Scottish Environmental protection Agency is 2,500 tonnes, equating to 600,000 fish.