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Did the eclipse cause a huge Atlantic salmon spill from a fish farm in US?

The Atlantic salmon is a wild and endangered fish that can grow up to 81 cm with black spots on their grills and large scales (Image: Wikimedia Commons/US Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region) Photograph: (Others)

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 24, 2017, 06.14 AM (IST)

Fishing communities struggle to recapture a species of Atlantic salmon that escaped from the Pacific northwest over the weekend. Canada-based company Cooke Aquaculture claims that the eclipse caused high tides in the Pacific which led to the structural failure. However, the opinion of conservation groups differs.

As thousands of fish were accidentally released, authorities urge the public to extend a helping hand in controlling the spill. According to company reports, approximately 5000 fish bolted into the waters of Pacific. However, the exact number would be determined once tidal conditions improved enough to allow divers to fully assess the farm. The aquaculture farm held roughly 305,000 Atlantic salmon that weighed about 1,300,000 kilograms.

The Atlantic salmon is a wild and endangered fish that can grow up to 81 cm with black spots on their grills and large scales. They exhibit wear and tear on their fins from farm nets. Salmon is a widely consumed delicacy known for its nutritious value, omega-3 fatty acids in particular.

Tides are a result of the moon's gravitational pull on Earth. In the event of an eclipse, when the sun and the moon are aligned, the sea levels rise higher than normal. According to US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tides in the area were not massively higher in comparison to the typical sea levels--roughly seven feet and four inches.

Experts are unsure whether this species will impact the Chinook salmon population. Atlantic salmon species have escaped into the area occupied by Chinook salmon population. A major concern is that the Atlantic salmon will out-compete with Chinook salmon for food, breed with them to create hybrids or spread perilous diseases such as sea lice.

There are strict regulations on salmon fishing. However, due to this incident, Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife has removed fishing limits until further notice.

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