A new risk assessment concludes that the introduced species of Pacific pink salmon to Norway could affect ecosystems and incur serious consequences, including impacts on Norwegian wild salmon.
The imported salmon naturally belong to the Pacific, but after it was introduced in northern Russia, the species found its way to Norwegian waterways to spawn.
According to Ellen Hambro, director of the Environment Directorate, the department the risk assessment was produced for, said an action plan will be drawn. The assessment was also produced for the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
According to the Environment Directorate in 2017, humpback salmon were caught in more than half of the salmon-carrying rivers in Norway. In 2019, the reports also report significant numbers.
"There has been a huge volunteer effort in many places on fishing. Facilitating such efforts and further developing fishing methods will be a key follow-up point," said Hambro.
"There is no doubt that it will present great challenges in fighting a salmon fish that has spread so widely."
The Environment Directorate points out that a system for monitoring and recording humpback salmon is needed. The new report also notes that there are still some knowledge gaps.
"The special biology of the humpback salmon means that it is only in the odd years that we expect great insight into Norwegian watercourses. That is, we have some time to move around before the next wave potentially comes in the summer of 2021," said Hambro.