NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Loose salmon cages cause hazard for boats

Shetland Coastguard has appealed for help to reel in a dozen large salmon cages which have broken free of their moorings in the North Sea.

There are concerns the 30 metre-wide cages could be dangerous to navigation around the south coast of Unst.

Owners Lakeland Unst Ltd have been urged to tow them to shore, and boats in the area were also asked to help.

A coastguard spokesman said: "I doubt very much that there's any fish left in them. It will be a fair expense."

It is thought the cages, which should be filled with salmon ready for harvest and sale, were cast adrift on Christmas Eve during high winds.

The spokesman said the cages were attached to each other "in one big lump", but were starting to break up.

He added: "There was a boat out there that got a hold of it but he didn't have the power to tow it. In fact, it was towing him.

"It is drifting around there so it is a threat to navigation."

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