Journal Article

Migration and survival of farmed Atlantic salmon (<i>Salmo salar</i> L.) released from two Norwegian fish farms

Lars P. Hansen

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 7, pages 1211-1217
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Migration and survival of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) released from two Norwegian fish farms

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Many salmon escape from fish farms during autumn and winter, making the migratory pattern and survival to sexual maturity of these fish an interesting topic of study. This study aimed to assess the migration and survival of large farmed salmon released from fish farms at different times during autumn and winter. Farmed salmon were individually tagged with external tags and released from two fish farms, one in southern Norway and the other in northern Norway. Salmon released in autumn one year before attaining sexual maturity appeared to survive poorly to sexual maturation, whereas salmon escaping later in winter showed greater survival. The released salmon appeared to move with the current and appeared to have a very weak homing instinct, if any. Based on the results of the tagging experiments, the direction and speed of ocean currents, and information about the abundance of fish farm escapees in salmon fisheries and stocks in several countries in the Northeast Atlantic, two hypotheses are advanced: first, salmon that escape during early autumn the year before they become sexually mature are transported with the currents to Arctic areas and subsequently do not survive the winter; second, large salmon escaping from fish farms in Ireland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and Norway during winter and spring move with the current and, during the following summer or autumn, may enter homewater fisheries and spawning populations far away from the site of escape, when they become sexually mature.

Keywords: dispersal; escaped farmed salmon; migration; ocean currents; survival

Journal Article.  4067 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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