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Atlantic Salmon

WDFW Authorizes Transfer of Atlantic Salmon into Net Pens

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has authorized Cooke Aquaculture to transport about 800,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon from the company’s hatchery in Rochester, Wash., to existing net-pen facilities in Puget Sound. WDFW issued the fish transport permit this week after working to ensure Cooke had met all of the state’s requirements for fish health. Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pen operations in Puget Sound as soon as 2022. Cooke is continuing its operations in the meantime. On Aug. 2, Cooke submitted applications to move a total of 800,000 1-year-old...

State Bans Atlantic Salmon Farming After 2025

The net-pen salmon farming of Atlantic salmon would be phased out in Washington waters by 2025, when existing leases run out, under legislation passed with bipartisan backing Thursday in the state Senate. The legislation comes as reaction to a net collapse last August at a salmon farm off Cypress Island, where between 243,000 and 263,000 non-native Atlantic salmon were accidentally released.  The fish have turned up as far away as the Harrison River in British Columbia. Powerful Bipartisan Vote of Salmon Farming  After what sponsor Sen. Kevin Ranker, R-Orcas, described as a “powerful bipartisan vote” of 35-12, the legislation...

Washington Official: Cooke ‘Negligence’ Caused Salmon Escape

Washington state officials have fined a unit of Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture $332,000 for allegedly breaching water quality rules with the August 2017 salmon escape. In a Jan. 30 press conference, state officials charged with investigating the escape of several thousand salmon blasted the company for its actions prior to the incident, which they claimed, could have been prevented.  “What we can now confirm is that Cooke Aquaculture was negligent,” Maia Bellon, director of Washington state’s Department of Ecology, said during a press conference. “Cooke Aquaculture’s negligence led directly to the Atlantic salmon pen failure in August of 2017. What’s even...

Legislation Introduced to Ban Atlantic Salmon Farms

House Republican Reps. Drew MacEwen and Jim Walsh have introduced a bill to ban Atlantic salmon farms in marine waters regulated by Washington state. The legislation comes on the heels of an August incident in which a net pen containing 305,000 Atlantic salmon collapsed near Cypress Island, allowing more than half of the salmon to escape into Puget Sound. It was the fourth such incident since 1996. Despite the collapse at the Atlantic salmon farm operated by Cooke Aquaculture, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently approved a permit for the company to rear one million more Atlantic salmon at a different facility...

Company Behind Farmed Fish Escape to Move More Salmon

SEATTLE (AP) — A company whose collapsed net pens released thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound is planning to move juvenile fish into another aquaculture facility over objections by the governor. The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday that Cooke Aquaculture received a permit to transport one million juvenile farmed Atlantic salmon from its hatchery to existing net pens in waters off Bainbridge Island. Gov. Jay Inslee and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said in a joint statement that they were concerned about the move. Inslee said he asked the company to withdraw its request and...

Farmed Atlantic Salmon Removal Continues

On Aug. 19, an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 10-pound farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into the waters of Puget Sound after a pen holding some 305,000 of the species suffered a structural failure. So if you need a good excuse to spend the day fishing, the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has you covered. In an effort to protect native species, WDFW officials are urging everyone to hit the water and catch as many of the escaped farmed Atlantic salmon as possible. Despite Warren’s assurances that the species poses no threat to native fish populations, he doesn’t want...

Lummi Battle Spilled Atlantic Salmon

A spilled Atlantic Salmon accident has put the waters of Washington State in peril of yet another invasive species. The Lummi Nation, the third largest tribe in Washington State, is in a state of emergency following the structural collapse of the Cooke Aquaculture open net-pen facility near Puget Sound. The breach released more than 300,000 farmed Atlantic salmon into Pacific waters, adjacent to Cypress Island, just east of the Canadian border near Victoria B.C. State officials announced over the weekend that no new permits would be issued for fish farm operations until the cause of the spilled Atlantic Salmon...

This is the Pacific Atlantic Salmon Not Wanted Here

The Quinault Indian Nation supports Governor Jay Inslee’s ban on new net pens until investigated and the establishment of an ‘incident command’ team of state agencies in the wake of the disastrous escape of thousands of Atlantic salmon near Cypress Island. However, the Tribe is making two demands: The focus of the effort must include the ocean and rivers that connect with the ocean, as well as Puget Sound; As co-managers of the salmon resource, affected tribal governments must be factored into and fully considered in any related decision making. “The problem is not excluded to Puget Sound alone....