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Dec 17, 2014

04:42:22 GMT--Biological Hazard - Europe - United Kingdom

EDIS Number: BH-20141217-46356-GBR

Date / time: 17/12/2014 04:41:02 [UTC]

Event: Biological Hazard

Area: Europe

Country: United Kingdom

State/County: Scotland

Location: [Western Isles coastal waters]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A


An invasion of tiny jellyfish in the Western Isles has killed 300,000 young salmon worth around £1 million at a fish farm. The "mauve stinger" jellyfish is the size of a gooseberry and small enough to get inside salmon cages. A swarm of the invaders caused devastation at a North Uist farm operated by the Loch Duart salmon company, which supplies major UK supermarkets and restaurants including Gordon Ramsay's in London. Bad weather that followed the incident prevented the fish from recovering from their injuries, causing the deaths of around half the stocks at Loch Maddy. Managing director Nick Joy said staff had been looking forward to a productive year when he was scheduled to visit the remote site on 21 November. However, he said: "On getting to the pens, it was clear that a serious event had occurred. The fish looked very distressed and were shoaling poorly and slowly. "It was also clear some had died, though at this stage not a significant number. My immediate view was that, though the fish had been sorely tired, the majority of them would survive as long as the weather gave them some peace to rest." He added: "We have seen these jellyfish before but not in such large numbers and, in each case, though the fish have been disturbed, they have survived the encounter." Extreme weather which hit the Western Isles in late November caused further damage to Loch Duart's stocks.

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