This was the view on 30 August 2017 of the destroyed pen No. 2 at Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon fish farm off Cypress Island. Photo: Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

By Lynda V. Mapes
9 October 2017

(The Seattle Times) – Just a week after the state Department of Fish and Wildlife approved shipment of 1 million more farmed Atlantic salmon to Cooke Aquaculture’s fish farm near Bainbridge Island, another state agency says it has found a hole in the nets and corrosion in the structure of the facility.

The Department of Natural Resources on Monday notified Cooke that it is in default of the terms of its lease at its Rich Passage operation. It ordered the facility repaired within 60 days, or the department may cancel the company’s lease for the facility, which operates over public bed lands.

Cooke will proceed with the stocking the fish, company spokeswoman Nell Halse said in an emailed statement. “We are meeting all permit requirements.”

A portion of the same company’s Cypress Island fish farm collapsed on 19 August 2017, releasing tens of thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea between Anacortes and the San Juan islands. The company had scheduled those net pens for total replacement because of corrosion and other problems, and had already made emergency repairs to the facility one month before they came apart. The company had intended to make repairs after taking its harvest of 305,000 adult fish.

Instead, about 100,000 of the Atlantic salmon escaped and infiltrated waters all over Puget Sound and beyond in one of the worst fish-farm disasters in state history. The rest of the fish were captured by Cooke or by tribal and non-tribal fishers. [more]

Fish farm has 60 days to fix net pens outside Seattle as 1 million Atlantic salmon move in

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