Escape control

Why it is important to us

Salmon escaping the nets are a big concern to us because of the possibility of negative influences on the wild fish stock, especially wild salmon and trout. Escape may harm the industry’s reputation and influence the external conditions for future growth, in addition to financially harming the company.

Our main principles

We have zero tolerance for escapes from our facilities, and we work continuously to prevent escapes. In order to facilitate this work, we will ensure high technical standards on our locations though long-term investments and necessary resources. On the sites, we will continue to work with routines and build the relevant competencies and capacities.

Our efforts and results

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  • Investments in facilities and technology

Fish farming

  • Preventive measures
  • Continous monitoring of levels
  • Tranining and raising awareness among employees
  • Large smolt
  • Records and follow-up through Fishtalk


The Norwegian authorities have established strict demands for producers regarding escape prevention. We work continuously in order to meet these demands. Escape control requirements are further reinforced through GLOBALG.A.P. requirements and the ASC standard that we are working towards. Throughout 2014 we have continued to develop our production prerequisites, thus avoiding escapes and fulfilling increasing demands from the authorities. In Shetland we have ongoing replacement of equipment when required to ensure the facilities meet the appropriate standards. In Finnmark we have established new land-based facilities for smolt production which will produce bigger smolt. This provides increased predictability and control within the cages. We have also continued efforts to improve facility control and training for our employees working with net bags in order to prevent escapes, and inspections of vessels, moorings and facilities are carried out according to regulations.

Additional inspections are also carried out after periods of harsh weather, and we work to make sure that employees attend courses on escaping once every two years at minimum. New employees also receive risk and procedural training with Operational Managers within their first week, and do not carry out work operations alone until the necessary expertise has been acquired. In 2014 we had a serious incident in Teistholmen in Rogaland, when parts of the installations nearly capsized due to heavy storms. Major resources were deployed to protect the fish and avoid escapes whilst working closely with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

As shown in table 2 we unfortunately had three escapes in Finnmark in 2014, of which two were significant, one in freshwater and one at sea. The fresh water episode happened as a result of a human error as the cages had not been doubly secured. Efforts are being made to improve routines and ensure sufficient training of all personnel to avoid the possibility of a reoccurrence. The large incident at sea was due to a hole in a net which was discovered at the time of harvest. The last escape was reported as an incident connected to delousing of a cage. A small hole was found in the net and recapture procedures were set in action immediately resulting in the capture of two fish.

Table 2: Number of fish escape incidents and number of fish escaped (net after recapturing fish)

GSF entity


Rogaland 0
Shetland 0
Finnmark 3 incidents, 26 946 fish escaped
BC 0

Our ambitions and goals

Our goal is zero occurrences of escape, and therefore zero escaped fish. An important means to achieve this is to continuously ensure the NYTEK standard at our facilities. In the future we will continue to focus on preventative projects, and as part of this we will ensure a systematic approach to reporting near occurrences and actual occurrences. As with other focus areas we will work to learn from internal and external best practice and make sure that we make the necessary investments.