Statement from Peter Bender

Yesterday morning (2nd of December 2020) it was discovered that a fish pen moored at our Yellow Bluff lease in Storm Bay had a tear in its inner net (approximately 4m below the surface down to the base of the net).

A significant loss of fish has occurred (with an average weight of around 550 grams).  We estimate between 120,000 and 130,000.  Due to their small size these fish are unlikely to survive in the marine environment.

This incident, coupled with the fire at a pen in the Lower Channel last week, is hugely concerning.

The integrity and structure of the Fortress Pen has not been compromised. While the weather was challenging over the past few days, the sea state was relatively calm.

The direction of the prevailing winds would indicate that weather is not the cause of the net tear.

In accordance with our regulatory requirements, this incident was reported to Government yesterday.

Crews have continued working through the night to assess and review this incident with no clear cause identified.

Internal investigations in relation to last week’s fire at a pen in the Lower Channel are also still ongoing with no clear cause yet identified.

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