COPENHAGEN Danish anglers could be in for the fishing trip of their lives in a few days' time, after a ship crashed into a fish farm and caused up to 80,000 rainbow trout to escape into the open sea.
The cargo vessel, sailing from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Kolding in Denmark, collided with the fish farm between the Danish islands Funen and Jutland on Tuesday, aquafarming firm Snaptun Fisk told Reuters.
The trout, weighing about 3 kg (6.6 lb) each, had been due to be slaughtered this week and were worth up to 10 million Danish crowns ($1.5 million), said Tim Petersen, co-owner and director at Snaptun Fisk.
"We will seek compensation from the shipowners," he told Reuters.
The incident could damage the sea habitat, said Danish Technical University Aqua researcher Jon Svendsen. The escapees are likely to disturb the eggs and young of wild sea trout.
The rainbow trout, unused to life in the open sea, should only survive a few months.
"All sports fishermen should get out there with their gear and start fishing," Soren Knabe, director of fishing association Vandpleje Fyn, told local broadcaster TV2/Fyn.
The trout will begin to bite after four to five days as they adjust to life in open waters, said Ulrik Jeppesen, a local angler, recalling similar previous incidents.
"I see this as a bit of a tragedy (for the environment), to be honest," he said. "But I will probably make a trip or two out there."
(Reporting by Annabella Pultz Nielsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Andrew Roche)