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Fishermen stymied by million dollar salmon escape

TASMANIA - The escape of tens of thousands of salmon from a fish farm in the Tasman peninsula in Tasmania's south-east has thrown the local scalefish industry into turmoil.

Up to 25,000 were lost in the week before Christmas as the owners were attempting to harvest the fish, worth about $1 million.

The salmon are being caught in the nets of commercial fishermen, who are trying to catch banded morwong.

The department's director of marine resources, Wes Ford has told the ABC's The Country Hour it is illegal to sell the Atlantic salmon.

"Unfortunately, a number of them have attempted to sell them, and we're reminding people that it is illegal to sell those fish," he said. "A number of the people, it's not illegal for them to keep, they can keep them so some people have been keeping them and giving them away, others would have just dumped them."

Mr Ford says it is the biggest accident of its kind in recent years.

"I was advised prior to Christmas was that in the process of towing a pen to harvest they had a major failure in terms of the net, I assume that means that that net has torn open and the fish have escaped," he said

Source: ABC