Grieg Seafood – Update on leak at harvesting plant in Northern Norway

By griffith - August 10, 2021

Earlier today, it was announced that there has been a incident at Grieg Seafood Finnmark’s harvesting plant in Alta in Northern Norway.

During the incident, 15,000 liters of chlorine unfortunately leaked into the fjord. The leak did not cause harm to employees or other people, either on land or at sea.

Grieg Seafood Finnmark regrets to say that 96,000 fish, who were in the pens at the harvesting plant, died. This corresponds to approximately 430 tonnes.

The company does not yet have a complete overview of how the leak has affected the environment in the fjord. Grieg Seafood Finnmark has engaged Akvaplan Niva to conduct an independent assessment of the environmental impact, which will include collecting samples of the seabed around the harvesting plant.

Chlorine is rapidly diluted and breaks down quickly in water. According to what we know today, the leak had a short-term, acute impact on organisms that were in the water around the harvesting plant when the incident occurred. The environmental assessment, which is expected to take a few days, will provide a full answer.

Grieg Seafood Finnmark is working to clean up the pens. The harvesting plant’s silage system and silage boats will take care of the dead fish, which is monitored continuously. It is expected that the clean-up will take a few days.

The company cooperates fully with all authorities, and awaits their investigation into the course of events that led to the leak.

Under normal circumstances, chlorine is used to disinfect the processing water at the harvesting plant, in accordance with the regulations of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the environmental authorities.

Financial consequences have not been clarified. The fish is insured.

Stine Torheim, manager of the harvesting plant, said:

“This is very sad. Our focus is now first and foremost on cleaning up. We will get all facts about this incident on the table, to ensure that it will not happen again.”

This press release first appeared on the website of Grieg Seafood.