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Atlantic Salmon Federation raises concerns after escape of farmed salmon

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is raising concerns about the escape of farmed salmon off the New Brunswick coast in the Bay of Fundy.

Spokesman Neville Crabbe says about 1,000 salmon escaped from a Cooke Aquaculture site near Deer Island on Aug. 20 and began showing up in the Magaguadavic River the next day.

READ MORE: Department of Fisheries to begin testing farmed B.C. salmon for virus

He says so far, 53 aquaculture escapees have been collected, and he expects more of the fish have entered other rivers.

Crabbe says the concern is that the farmed fish can spread disease and spawn with wild salmon – creating offspring that are less able to survive in the wild.

READ MORE: Federal court rules not screening B.C. farmed salmon for virus is unlawful

He says there needs to be greater transparency when escapes occur, and aquaculture companies need to take responsibility for the escaped fish.

Crabbe says efforts by the New Brunswick government to modernize the Aquaculture Act are a step in the right direction.

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