This story seems by way of a media partnership with Maine Public.
A seal assault is being blamed for the lack of 50,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon at two fish farming websites close to Cutler.
Cooke Aquaculture spokesperson Joel Richardson stated that divers found on Aug. 7 that seals had chewed by way of two cage nets close to Cross Island. Every usually holds about 25,000 juvenile salmon, however had been empty when employees discovered them.
The corporate stated that the “unusually aggressive seal conduct” is results of a major enhance within the seal inhabitants throughout the Gulf of Maine, and significantly in Machias Bay.
“That is truly the primary time that we’ve ever skilled such an assault by seals, who fairly voraciously went after two of our salmon cages to feed,” Richardson stated.
Jeff Nichols, a spokesperson for the Maine Division of Marine Sources, stated that the company was notified of the incident on Aug. 8 and visited the location the subsequent day.
“DMR concluded that it’s extremely seemingly that a number of seals had been in a position to get previous the predator netting and create a gap within the internet pen, permitting fish to flee. DMR employees additionally witnessed as many as 100 seals on a half tide haul out close to the lease website. Others have indicated there are 300 to 400 seals within the space,” Nichols stated.
Nichols added that the DMR considers “this an remoted and weird incident, and we’re assured that Cooke has established an appropriate corrective plan.”
In a press release, Cooke stated that it was at the moment figuring out how the seals entered the websites, because it says the nets had been correctly tied and likewise had a second layer of protecting netting round them.
Transferring ahead, Richardson stated that the corporate is exploring utilizing netting with a stainless-steel wire core. He stated the corporate already makes use of the netting to include its grownup salmon, and seals are unable to chew by way of it.
The corporate additionally stated that it’s growing the variety of dives every week. Nichols stated the DMR plans to proceed to observe the location because the plans are applied.