Copper pollution threatens fjords

Fish farming copper pollution FjordsFish farming. Photo:

Copper pollution from fish farms threatens fjords in Hordaland

The County Governor of Hordaland warns of unacceptable contamination of copper from fish farms in several fjords in the county.


The County Governor is worried about the development in several fjords in Hordaland after discovering a definitive connection between the number of fish farms and how much copper pollution there is, writes Bergens Tidende.

The concern is biggest for Radfjorden. The entire nine kilometre long fjord from the eastern side of Holsnøy in Meland municipality to the west side of Radøy is likely to get labeled with “bad environmental condition”.

The reason is measurements that show that copper pollution from the four fish farms in the fjord has spread throughout the eco system and that the levels shortly can exceed what is acceptable.

The aquaculture industry uses copper as an anticorrosive agent on the nets of the fish farms. Cleaning the nets is often done by high pressure flushing, which in turn leads to discharge and accumulation of copper below the cages.

Looks blue and clean

– With a superficial look, the fjord looks blue and clean. The major environmental problems are not visible on the surface, but underwater pollution has reached a disturbingly high level, says senior consultant in the Environmental Department of the County Governor’ office in Hordaland, Tom N. Pedersen.

The same negative development is confirmed to take place in other farmed fjords in Hordaland.

CEO of the Aquaculture Division in the Lerøy Seafood Group, Stig Nilsen, confirms that the company’s own measurements also show relatively high copper levels in the fjord.

– Lerøy conduct comprehensive monitoring of the environment in Radfjorden and elsewhere where we produce seafood. We feel that we have a good dialogue with the County Governor and other governing bodies, Nilsen writes in an email to the newspaper.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today



1 Comment on "Copper pollution threatens fjords"

  1. this fish farming scandal is barely a blip on the public radar

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