Washington conservation group sues Cooke Aquaculture

Washington conservation group sues Cooke Aquaculture”

Could this salmon jailbreak have been the animals' reaction to the impending celestial event?

Inslee says in a statement the company must stop additional escapes, recover escaped fish and compensate those working to capture the fish after anglers were urged to catch as numerous Atlantic salmon as possible. But Wild Fish Conservancy expressed bewilderment by the company's claim as it argues that the solar eclipse was an event which showed no recorded impact on tides, presented a tidal occurrence that they could not have prepared for. In short, the problem was not the tide; it was the net.

Why Did Cooke Aquaculture Farm Blame the Eclipse?

The NGO said it was deeply disheartened by Cooke Aquaculture's "glaring negligence, negligence which has led to an environmental disaster of epic proportion". The Puget Sound is home to endangered chinook salmon. State, federal and tribal governments have been trying for decades to get the population back to healthy levels.

"The escapement of Atlantic salmon poses threats of competition to native juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead", said the Conservancy's fisheries scientist Dr. Nick Gayeski.

A worker inspecting the net cages in a salmon farm.

"As has been widely reported, Cooke Aquaculture presided over the near-complete structural failure of a net pen facility located in Deepwater Bay off of Cypress Island over the weekend of August 19 and 20, the failure of which has resulted in, and continues to result in, the discharge of farmed Atlantic salmon, dead fish carcasses, and massive amounts of debris among other pollutants", it said. To avoid further damage to its reputation, the company pushed the blame for this recent ecological disaster onto the solar eclipse.

What Will Happen to the Escaped Fish?

This morning the Washington state departments of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, and Ecology along with the Office of the Governor and state Emergency Management Division, announced the formation of an Incident Command structure to respond to the escape of Atlantic salmon from net pens on Cypress Island.

In its defense, Cooke stated that it maintains a detailed fish escape and recapture plan as part of its operations, and has implemented that plan in response to this loss of fish.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Azula.

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