Thousands of Atlantic Salmon have been released into the Pacific Ocean just outside of Victoria.
The invasive species escaped in waters just east of Victoria from a US fish farm in the San Juan Islands.
Cooke Aquaculture, the company who owns the fish farm, blamed “exceptionally high tides and currents coinciding with this week’s solar eclipse” for a rip in a net pen near Cypress Island.
The Seattle Times has reported that the fish started being caught in the Puget Sound on Sunday, but the company has not commented much on the event or specifically when it happened.
Fin Donnelly, NDP Critic for Fisheries and Oceans said in a release “I’m alarmed to hear thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon have escaped into our Pacific waters. These events underscore the need for mandatory land-based, closed containment fish farms in order to protect our wild salmon fishery and the integrity of the marine environment.
The record low wild salmon returns will only get worse unless the Federal Liberals take meaningful action to save wild salmon, protect jobs and critical fish habitat.”
Atlantic Salmon is an invasive species in the Pacific, which could harm native fish through competition, predation or by transferring disease.