CAMPBELL RIVER -- Mowi Canada West issued a statement saying that 2.6 million fish from their hatcheries on Vancouver Island are at risk of being killed, as opposed to the 8.3 million estimated earlier this week.

In a statement emailed to the Campbell River Mirror Wednesday, Feb. 10, Dean Dobrinsky, Mowi Canada West's human resources safety and communications manager, said, “There was a desire to clearly define the immediate impact as the 2.6 million smolts (those that are active in our sea sites and hatcheries) after it originally was picked up by the trades as culling 8.3 million smolt in our hatcheries.”

The calculations were estimated based on the company's five-year operations cycle – from brood stock, through the hatcheries to sea sites, and then the harvest, said Dobrinsky.

“In the immediate term, there are 2.6 million fish currently at sea or in our hatcheries at risk of being killed if we are unable to find a home for them. As we have a five-year operational cycle, we have millions of fish in our system that will also have to be killed if we cannot find locations for them to grow to harvest,” said the statement.

The statement for the new estimates was issued after the aquaculture company's parent company, Mowi ASA, estimated a significantly lower smolt cull.

On Tuesday – in response to Dobrinksky's estimate of 8.3 million fish that were to be culled, costing the company a revenue of $195 million – Mowi ASA's group communications director, Ola Helge Hjetland, told Salmon Business via a text message that “there are 2.6 million smolt. Not 8.3 million.”

In response to the $195 million in revenue loss, Hjetland added, “We have not said anything about the amount yet, but have sent out a stock exchange announcement of the effect on volume. We will be back with other numbers in Q4.”