Navigate to top
SUSTAINABILITY LIBRARY 2022 Policies Policy: Escapes

Policy: Escapes

Policy for escape prevention

Owner/approver: COO Farming 

Valid from: 2021-04-29



The purpose of this policy is to provide a principal description of how the Group works to prevent escape. Preventing escape is an extremely important and high-priority area for Lerøy Seafood Group (Lerøy). Substantial investments are made to prevent escape.

Escape of farmed fish is an adverse incident for the environment and causes financial losses. The goal is to prevent escapees from having a negative impact on wild salmon. Lerøy therefore has a zero tolerance policy for escape.

Attitudes, procedures, emergency preparedness plans, the technical status of facilities, correct use of approved equipment and the right training shall ensure fulfilment of the zero-escape policy. Escape prevention is conducted by maintaining a focus on good planning, execution and re-examination of all operations in and at each facility. A lot of time and effort are also spent in optimising equipment and routines.

Valid for

This policy applies to all the Group's farming operations.

Framework and principles

Below is a description of the overall principles/legislation underlying this control strategy. Lerøy is committed to complying with prevailing environmental regulations, provisions, guidelines and principles, as follows:

The administration and the aquaculture industry, including Lerøy, have adopted a zero vision for escaped fish.

This strategy comprises knowledge, exchange of experience, a strong safety culture, efficient safety regulations and professional emergency preparedness.  The strategy is based on two principles:

  1. Escape-proof design and operation of aquaculture facilities and active risk management by the industry and administration to achieve maximum reductions in escapees.
  2. If farmed fish do escape, genetic interaction with wild stocks shall be kept to a minimum.

OURO, the aquaculture industry's association for catching escaped farmed fish

The association shall carry out assignments laid down in the Regulation dated 5 February 2015, no. 89 concerning joint responsibility for catches etc. of escaped farmed fish. These assignments comprise planning and executing initiatives to reduce the numbers of escaped farmed fish of the species salmon, trout and rainbow trout in rivers where the ratio of escaped fish is unacceptable. The association shall also consider planning initiatives to reduce the number of escaped farmed fish in rivers, where monitoring by means of annual percentages or counts of spawning fish indicate that the ratio of escaped farmed fish is equal to or greater than four percent.

Regulation concerning requirements on the technical standard of installations used for aquaculture (NYTEK) and Regulation concerning requirements on the technical standard of land-based aquaculture facilities for fish.

The purpose of these regulations is to limit escape from aquaculture installations by ensuring a proper technical standard for such installations, and proper operations and maintenance of the installations.

Regulation concerning internal control for compliance with the Aquaculture Act (IC-Aquaculture)

The purpose of this regulation is to ensure systematic control and improvement work so that requirements established in or in accordance with the Aquaculture Act are met. The regulation also states that a business shall chart hazards and problems and, on this basis, assess risk then prepare plans and initiatives to reduce these risk factors.

Roles and responsibilities

  • All Lerøy employees in Lerøy’s fish farming companies, within their areas of responsibility and disciplines, are responsible for following the policy.
  • The top management in each company is responsible for ensuring that the company has personnel with the competencies required to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Policy ownership and implementation

  • The COO Farming is the owner of this document, and is responsible for updates and maintenance.
  • The COO Farming is responsible for implementation of and compliance with the policy.
  • The policy has been approved by the Corporate Management Group, presented to the Audit Committee and approved by  the Board of Directors
  • The CEO of Lerøy Seafood Group has overall responsibility for the