[2 February/ NZ Farmer]

Salmon in the Marlborough Sounds are dying in their farms as an abnormally hot summer continues to take its toll on marine life. The ideal water temperature for salmon is between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius, but farms had been warmer than usual since early December. New Zealand King Salmon Chief Executive, Grant Rosewarne, said the farms had to manage warmer water every summer, but this summer was extraordinarily hot. Salmon cannot self-regulate their body temperatures, so some have ultimately died due to the heat. The mortalities were disposed of, rather than used for human or pet consumption. Kopaua and Clay Point felt the high temperatures the most, and staff were re-assigned to help the harvest in these areas. The most recent forecast for the current financial year was for sales of around 8,000 metric tonnes, up from last year’s actual sales of 7,200 tonnes.