Breach of Containment:
The Faroe Islands aquaculture industry takes the issue of breach of containment very seriously and makes every effort to prevent it. The Faroese Veterinarian Act on Aquaculture also obligates producers to follow exact protocols to prevent and limit any potential breach of containment:
- Breach of containment is prohibited
- Nets have to be inspected on a regular basis.
- Every company has to have a contingency plan in case of any breach of containment. This plan has to be approved by the Food and Veterinary Agency. (§ 23.1)
- Accurate records have to be kept of any breach of containment and reported to the Food and Veterinary Agency. (§ 24.4)In case of breach (or even suspicion of breach) of containment, the owner is obligated to notify the Food and Veterinary Agency. (§ 41)
- Each fjord or sound can only contain one generation of salmon at the same time. (§ 40)
- After making a risk assessment, the Ministry of Health can obligate the company to try to catch the lost fish. (§ 41, paragraph 2)
- The owner of the fish farm has the responsibility of making attempts to catch the lost salmon by order of the Food and Veterinary Agency. (§ 41, paragraph 3)
- Nets have to be in place to deny birds access to the fish in the pens, if the weather permits it. (§ 42)
Wild salmon from all over northern Europe make their way to the seas north of the Faroe Islands to feed. The Faroe Islands has decided to play an active role in international efforts to protect wild salmon populations by not fishing the relatively large wild salmon stock that feeds in Faroese territorial waters.
Because of the small size of the Faroese rivers, there is no historic record of any natural wild salmon population in Faroese rivers or fjords. This, of course, diminishes any potential negative impact that aquaculture in the Faroese fjords and sounds could have on natural wild salmon populations.
Aquaculture represents some 50% of all fish consumed by humans today, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that aquaculture is the only way to meet the rapidly growing demand for seafood.