Danish anglers are on the eve of a massive fishing bonanza after 80,000 rainbow trout escaped into the sea.
Environmentalists are urging the nation to “grab their rods” after a freak accident on Monday.
A cargo vessel, sailing from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Kolding in Denmark, tore apart a fishing farm net off the coast of Assens - around 124 miles west of capital Copenhagen.
Authorities fear the fish, which were due for the slaughter, will disturb the natural status quo by disturbing the eggs and young of the wild sea trout.
The prized farming fish weigh approximately 3kg each and are worth up to 10 million Danish crowns (£1.2 million).
“All sports fishermen should get out there with their gear and start fishing,” said Soren Knabe, director of fishing association Vandpleje Fyn, speaking to local broadcaster TV2.
Local angler Ulrik Jeppesen, who expects the trout to begin biting after four to five days in the open waters, said: “I see this as a bit of a tragedy to be honest. But I will probably make a trip or two out there.”
Jon Svendsen, a researcher at Denmark’s National Institute of Aquatic Rescources, also told the BBC: “Fish farms pose a much greater threat to the local marine environment, mainly because of nutrient releases into the local environment, which may be associated with algae blooms and subsequent hypoxia (low oxygen conditions).”