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On the hunt for thousands of salmon that escaped Icelandic fish farm

Some 3500 salmon have escaped from a fish farm pen in Iceland and now the hunt is on to catch them before they hybridise with the local wild, genetically distinct salmon in the fjords

By Graham Lawton

23 October 2023

Recaptured farmed salmon ready to be sent to the authorities

Bagged-up farmed salmon captured in the Langadalsá river


The 13 salmon are laid out on a bench, dead, bagged up and ready to be sent to the authorities. They aren’t a pretty sight. They were caught and killed by specialist divers in the Langadalsá river in the remote and rugged Westfjords of Iceland.

Most have gaping wounds from spear guns, and all show signs of having been eaten alive by parasites. One has a missing eye socket, gnawed away by a salmon louse.

These are farmed Atlantic salmon that escaped from…

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