Fish lost in vandalism valued at $2.5M

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
25 November 2005, at 12:00am

CANADA - A Canadian company with aquaculture operations within a few miles of Washington County has estimated that 100,000 fish were set loose into Passamaquoddy Bay when 11 cages were deliberately vandalized, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday. Nell Halse of Cooke Aquaculture said the value of the fish was $2.5 million, or $3 million in Canadian currency. The sabotage is believed to have occurred the evening of Nov. 9. Eleven nets that kept the fish in underwater cages were intentionally cut and five of those cages were emptied completely of fish, according to Halse. She said only a handful of the fish, if any, have been recovered. The rest are almost certain to remain in the wild, she said. The nets were in two locations, one on the west side of Deer Island and the other at Lords Cove on the island's eastern shore, Halse said. The incident is under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The illegal release has caused some concern among environmentalists who say the farmed fish can pose a threat to populations of wild salmon who live on both sides of the border. Halse said the aquaculture fish, though old enough to process for sale, are not mature enough to spawn and so should not be able to compromise the gene pool of the wild fish. Source: Bangor Daily News