Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 5:26 pm 
Tuesday November 12, 2019 17:12 PST WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE Salmon fishing to close in Willapa Bay and its tributaries Action: Closes salmon fishing. Effective date: Nov. 13, 2019 until further notice. Species affected: Salmon Locations: Marine Area 2-1 (Willapa Bay) Bear River Forks Creek Naselle River Nemah River Middle, North, and South North River Smith Creek Willapa River Willapa River South Fork Reason for action: Coho returns to tributaries in the Willapa Bay watershed have been significantly lower than preseason predictions. These conservation measures are being taken to ensure escapement goals are met. Managers will continue to assess coho returns and re-open if warranted. Additional information: For more information on other Willapa Bay fisheries, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations. Information contact: Region 6 Montesano office, 360-249-4628. -WDFW- (* emphasis added *)

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PostSun Dec 01, 2019 12:54 pm 
Sunday December 1, 2019 12:26 PST FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Cooke Aquaculture to pay $2.75 million, ending WFC lawsuit over net pen collapse For more information, contact Josh Rosenau 425-788-1167 | josh@wildfishconservancy.org Kurt Beardslee 425/788-1167 | kurt@wildfishconservancy.org Nov 27, 2019 Duvall, WA — Days before having to defend themselves in court, Cooke Aquaculture has agreed to settle a Clean Water Act lawsuit filed by Wild Fish Conservancy as a result of the collapse of Cooke’s Cypress Island net pen. Under the terms of the agreement, Cooke will be required to pay $2.75 million. These funds will go to the Rose Foundation to fund environmental projects to protect wild salmon and killer whales in Puget Sound, as well as WFC’s litigation expenses. Cooke also agreed to change their practices and address additional dangers identified in the course of the lawsuit. “This is truly a victory for the future of our sound,” said Kurt Beardslee, executive director of Wild Fish Conservancy. “Open water net pen aquaculture is a risky business, and thanks to this settlement we are one step closer to getting this dirty industry out of Puget Sound once and for all. This was long in coming. Last year, the public demanded an end to Atlantic salmon net pens. Just last week, thousands of people spoke out against switching these farms to different species. Now a federal judge ruled that Cooke broke the law. It’s time for this industry to leave Puget Sound.” Wild Fish Conservancy issued pre-suit notice of violations in August 2017, days after the Cypress Island pen collapsed and spilled over 300,000 Atlantic salmon infected with an exotic virus into Puget Sound. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, Washington State moved to end Atlantic salmon aquaculture, and the State’s Department of Ecology issued a $332,000 fine. Cooke Aquaculture is currently petitioning the State for permission to restock surviving pens with biologically-altered rainbow/steelhead trout; a comment period on this proposal closed on Friday, November 22, with thousands of citizens and organizations commenting in opposition. A trial in the US District Court in Seattle was scheduled to begin on December 2. Days before, Judge John Coughenour issued several summary judgments supporting WFC’s claims. Among the court’s findings: Cooke failed to conduct required inspections of net pen moorings and anchors and Cooke failed to accurately monitor and report the number of fish escaping from its pens. The Court had previously found that Cooke failed to develop operational plans that include necessary procedures for inspecting cages, storing chemicals, disposing of harvest blood, and tracking the number of fish in its cages and lost to predation. The Court rejected several of Cooke’s arguments to avoid liability for the catastrophic failure of one of its net pens. In doing so, the Court advanced the state of the Clean Water Act, making the law more valuable for environmental organizations seeking to hold other polluters accountable. Judge Coughenour also rejected Cooke’s efforts to end the suit arguing the Cypress Island pen was already closed, noting that Cooke “continues its operations in Puget Sound. Thus, civil penalties still serve to deter future Clean Water Act violations.” “We’re thankful for the Judge’s ruling and hope the severity of these penalties will be a deterrent to anyone seeking to expand or establish open water net pen aquaculture in Puget Sound and beyond,” says Beardslee. Cooke’s operations continue to put wild salmon and the health of Puget Sound at risk. Just weeks ago, one of the Bainbridge Island net pens began sinking due to a hole in a flotation pontoon; luckily, the damaged portion was not stocked with Atlantic salmon at the time but may have resulted in an escape were the pens occupied. Marine engineer Tobias Dewhurst, an independent expert testifying on behalf of Wild Fish Conservancy, reviewed conditions at each farm site and determined “conditions at each of its eight sites exceeded the maximum rated conditions specified by the net pen manufacturer,” and that as a result “pens and cages operated by Cooke were at risk of failure.” Even given subsequent changes, Dewhurst concluded, “certain remaining sites appear to be operating in conditions that exceed those specified by the net pen system manufacturers,” and therefore “may be at risk of partial or catastrophic failure.” Wild Fish Conservancy was represented by Kampmeier & Knutsen PLLC and Earthrise Law Center. Cooke Aquaculture will pay accrued litigation costs and make a series of annual payments to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment to support the recovery of wild salmon, steelhead, and killer whales. -WFC- Consent decree Summary Judgement 04/26/19 Summary Judgement 11/25/19 Report of Dr. Tobias Dewhurst 06/25/19

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 5:56 am 
I do not have time to find the reporting, I think I read it on Penninsula daily news but WFC kept over half the settlement or 1.6 million for themselves. Big brained rats pretending to care.

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PostThu Feb 13, 2020 12:47 pm 
Tuesday February 11, 2020 13:17 PST Wild Fish Conservancy Files Suit Against WDFW Over Decision to Permit Dangerous New Net Pen Proposal

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostMon Mar 02, 2020 12:42 pm 
The root of this evil: How 'dark fishing' sails below the radar to plunder the oceans ^ this is the industry that is supported by the purchase of farm-raised fish.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostSat May 23, 2020 9:32 am 
Cooke Aquaculture back at it again with yet more applications for more net pens in the Sound: Comment period ends June 8 2020 Washington State DOE notice of application: https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Water-quality/Water-quality-permits/Water-Quality-individual-permits/Net-pens Washington State DOE notice of application: https://ecology.wa.gov/Events/WQ/Atlantic-Salmon-Net-Pen/Water-quality-permit-applications-to-raise-steelhe Washington State DOE public comment form: http://wq.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=BJeUR Washington State DOE comment record: http://rd.ecology.commentinput.com/comment/extra?id=BJeUR "Our Sound Our Salmon" news letter: https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org/submit-comments-now 052320 43898

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PostSat May 01, 2021 1:37 pm 
“4 corners” documentary published Apr 22 2021
“Channel 7” news report segment published Apr 27 2021
If you think there is one iota of difference because this is on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, you aren’t paying attention.

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PostThu May 27, 2021 7:24 am 
Virus spreads from B.C. fish farms to wild Chinook salmon, study finds https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/virus-spreads-from-bc-fish-farms-to-wild-chinook-salmon-new-study-finds/ Aquaculture mediates global transmission of a viral pathogen to wild salmon https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/22/eabe2592.full

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PostTue Nov 15, 2022 4:28 pm 
Monday November 14 2022 DNR Commissioner Hilary Franz cancels leases for remaining net pen salmon farming in Puget Sound The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has ended the remaining two finfish net pen aquaculture leases on Washington’s state-owned aquatic lands. DNR officials informed Cooke Aquaculture Monday that the agency will not renew expired leases for the two remaining finfish net pen aquaculture facilities in Washington; in Rich Passage off Bainbridge Island and off Hope Island in Skagit Bay. “Since the catastrophic Cypress Island net pen collapse in 2017, I have stood tall to defend the waters of Puget Sound,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “This effort began by terminating finfish net pen operations due to lease violations. Despite years of litigation – and a company that has fought us every step of the way – we are now able to deny lease renewals for the remaining net pen sites. Today, we are returning our waters to wild fish and natural habitat. Today, we are freeing Puget Sound of enclosed cages.” “This is a critical step to support our waters, fishermen, tribes, and the native salmon that we are so ferociously fighting to save,” said Commissioner Franz. DNR’s denial of Cooke Aquaculture’s request to re-lease the sites to continue finfish net pen aquaculture gives the company until December 14 to finish operations and begin removing its facilities and repairing any environmental damage. The Hope Island lease expired in March and has been in month-to-month holdover status since. The Rich Passage lease expired in November. Decision Draws Support Salish tribes and conservation groups hailed the decision as a step toward protecting the habitat of struggling stocks of native salmon. “We are very pleased that Commissioner Franz rejected Cooke Aquaculture’s lease application. Removal of the existing net pen will restore full access to the Tribe’s culturally important fishing area in northern Skagit Bay. Swinomish are the People of the Salmon, and fishing has been our way of life since time immemorial. Cooke’s net pens have interfered with the exercise of our treaty rights for far too long. We look forward to the day when the Hope Island net pen facility will be a distant memory,” said Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chairman Steve Edwards. “This decision is a joyous and historic victory for the recovery of wild fish, orcas, and the health of Puget Sound,” says Emma Helverson, Executive Director of Wild Fish Conservancy. “For years, the public has overwhelmingly called for an end to this dangerous industry in our public waters. Commissioner Franz’s response proves she is both accountable to the public and dedicated to protecting Puget Sound’s irreplaceable public heritage for current and future generations.” “We say, ‘the table is set when the tide goes out.’ Seafoods have always been a staple of Samish diet and traditions,” said Tom Wooten, Samish Indian Nation Chairman. “By removing the Sound’s remaining net pens, our delicate ecosystem now gets a chance to replenish, repair and heal. We are grateful and lift our hands to the DNR’s partnership in helping protect the Salish Sea that tie us to our history and culture.” Denials End Saga Started by 2017 Collapse Cooke Aquaculture had previously leased four sites for net pen aquaculture from the Department of Natural Resources, recently growing steelhead trout in the net pens after years of using them to grow Atlantic salmon. DNR’s letters denying an extension of Cooke’s leases lists several areas where the firm violated terms of the leases. DNR determined that allowing Cooke to continue operations posed risks of environmental harm to state-owned aquatic lands resulting from lack of adherence to lease provisions and increased costs to DNR associated with contract compliance, monitoring, and enforcement. In August of 2017, a net pen at Cooke’s Cypress Island fish farm collapsed, releasing hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. As a result, DNR terminated that lease. Cooke was fined $332,000 and found negligent by the state Department of Ecology. The net pens were removed in 2018. In December of 2017, DNR terminated Cooke’s Port Angeles lease due to Cooke operating in an unauthorized area and failing to maintain the facility in a safe condition. Cooke challenged that termination in the superior court and that litigation is still pending. The Washington state Legislature in 2018 phased out Atlantic salmon farming, and the company since shifted operations at its remaining leaseholds in Rich Passage and Hope Island to grow sterile steelhead trout. Future Net Pen Policy will be Announced Friday Following the denials of these lease renewals, Commissioner Franz is reviewing policies for net pen salmon aquaculture throughout Washington’s state-owned aquatic lands, and will announce this decision at a press conference alongside partners and tribes at 11 a.m. Friday, November 18, on Bainbridge Island. -DNR- party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif party.gif

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."

Waterman, ChinookPass, Malachai Constant  Anne Elk
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