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.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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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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PostMon Dec 05, 2022 3:24 pm 
https://www.cookeseafood.com/2022/11/15/statement-regarding-washington-department-of-natural-resources-not-renewing-two-steelhead-fish-farming-leases-in-puget-sound/ Cooke Aquaculture Pacific was very disappointed to receive the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) notices not to renew our two steelhead fish farming leases in Rich Passage off Bainbridge Island and off Hope Island in Skagit Bay. Regulators and policymakers must responsibly follow the science and judicial precedents in making key decisions regarding marine aquaculture, which we do not believe was the case in this instance. We were surprised by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz’s decision. Over the past five years, Cooke has worked to foster productive working relationships with Tribes, DNR staff, and other state agencies. A recent Federal Biological Opinion and a recent Washington Supreme Court decision both reaffirm the state of the science that fish farming does not have an adverse impact on the environment. All of these factors are contrary to DNR’s decision to not renew our leases. In 2018, the Washington State Legislature explicitly allowed the continued farming of fish in Washington, banning non-native fish such as Atlantic salmon but allowing farming of native fish such as steelhead to continue. DNR is now acting contrary to that legislative directive. In a landmark opinion filed in January 2022, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously rejected the arguments of a group of environmental organizations and upheld a permit granted to Cooke Aquaculture Pacific by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (“WDFW”) for the farming of Pacific Steelhead trout. Further, the Washington State Supreme Court ruling found that farming of steelhead would not have probable, significant adverse impacts on the environment. The Court upheld WDFW’s years of careful analysis and permit conditions that it found would be protective of the environment. This finding is in stark contrast to the purported concerns of DNR as the rationale for its two decisions. In March 2022 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service released a 210 page biological opinion regarding marine finfish aquaculture in Puget Sound, finding little to no negative impact on native species such as endangered salmon, Orcas, or their habitat. In its analysis, NOAA found that EPA’s approval: Is “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence” of Puget Sound (PS) and/or Georgia Basin (GB) species, including Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, Hood Canal summer-run chum, PS/GB yelloweye rockfish, or PS/GB bocaccio. Is “not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of the designated critical habitats for any of the listed species.” Washington State has been a leader in developing and implementing permit requirements for fish farms. Over the past five years, Cooke has worked cooperatively with regulators, including DNR, to implement independent engineering review of its facilities, enhanced monitoring of water and sediment quality, and increased transparency regarding its operations. All these requirements that have been implemented at Cooke’s farms in Washington show the lack of impact to the environment of its operations. Cooke has continued to listen and do tribal outreach including hosting tribal tours on our Washington farms to understand their concerns. Through listening, we understand better than ever the importance of salmon to tribes in Western Washington and believe fish farming can be compatible with and supportive of the tribal goal of having wild fish for harvest for generations to come. Cooke was engaged in dialogue with tribes in Washington regarding integrating wild salmon enhancement into its farm operations. Wild salmon survive to adulthood at extremely low rates. Delayed release—holding wild fish in pens so they are released as older and larger fish–is a proven method to increase that survival rate. Those efforts, if they had been allowed by DNR, would have had immediate and meaningful positive impacts on wild fish survival for tribal fishers to harvest. As farmers and wild fishers, we understand that the natural environment and ensuring its health is fundamental in sustainably producing quality, healthy food. We have a vested interest in the waters we farm in and, as shown by our close work with agencies in Washington and elsewhere, welcome a well-regulated environment to operate in. Environmental organizations and Commissioner Franz are choosing to ignore the fact that farm-raised fish is one of the healthiest and most efficient ways to feed the global population with a minimal environmental impact and the lowest carbon footprint of any animal protein. Farmers work closely with world-renowned scientists from academia, government, and the private sector to develop rigorous standards and implement best practices for fish health and environmental protection. The science does not support the statements made by Commissioner Franz that the removal of these fish farms will save wild fish and natural habitat. There are many known factors contributing to wild salmon population decline including hydropower dams, growing seal populations as predators, habitat loss due to development, continued commercial fishing in migratory routes, municipal waste treatment plants releasing untreated pollutants and contaminants which affect juvenile salmon and more. Fish farming can mitigate these harms by reducing pressures on wild stocks and also by directly applying the expertise of companies like Cooke to better hatchery and wild salmon recovery efforts. From an animal welfare perspective, with this decision, Commissioner Franz is forcing Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to kill 332,000 juvenile steelhead that were planned to be stocked at Rich Passage and Hope Island in 2023. This is a tragic outcome for fish that should have been healthy, sustainable, food for our communities. Cooke Aquaculture Pacific acquired the Cypress Island fish farm in 2016 from a previous owner on the brink of bankruptcy. Regrettably, a year later the steel cage system collapsed. Prior to the collapse, Cooke had applied to replace the cage system that was in operation by the previous owner almost 20 years. The compliance issues relied upon by DNR as the reason not to renew our two steelhead fish farming leases in Rich Passage and Hope Island stem from our assuming ownership of farms that fell into disrepair by the previous owner. After the collapse of that farm, Cooke focussed on improving the operations in Washington, working with regulators to increase transparency of its operations, implementing third party engineering review of its facilities, implementing enhanced environmental monitoring, and transitioning the farms early to all female, sterile trout. DNR’s action ignores all of this effort and improvements. DNR’s own staff has repeatedly commended Cooke, in both internal and external correspondence, for the strides it had taken in working with DNR, the Washington Department of Ecology and WDFW. The actions by DNR’s leadership are perplexing at best, and punitive at worst. As a Canadian family company investing significantly in Washington State and creating local jobs, this is very disheartening. As a steward of Washington’s lands, DNR is sending a very clear message to others: “Do not come to Washington, do not invest here.” We have been and continue to be focused on improvement including responding through technological and science advancements where nature presents us with events beyond our control. We are committed to listen, learn, and adapt to ensure we are always focused on sustainable outcomes. At this time, we are focused on our employees in Washington State, who are best-in-class multi-generational fish farmers whose livelihood has been put in jeopardy by Commissioner Franz. We intend to explore available options for our operations and investments in Washington with the best interest of our employees, and their families at top of mind.

Genesis 1:24 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
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PostMon Dec 05, 2022 6:11 pm 
Personally, I would rather eat farmed fish and leave the wild fish to the Orcas, Sea Lions, etc. When I eat salmon now I guess it will be coming from a Canadian or Norwegian farms.

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Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
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