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net pens

The Washington Legislature approved a phase out of Atlantic salmon farming in state waters on Friday and sent the measure to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it.

COURTESY WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Cooke Aquaculture is applauding members of a state House committee after they took no action on a bill that would have phased out net-pen farming of non-native salmon in Washington waters.

The head of Cooke Aquaculture says he's furious about "scare tactics" that he says are driving a push to end Atlantic salmon farming in Puget Sound. The Washington Senate voted 35-12 Thursday to phase out aquatic leases for net pens holding non-native fish.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Gov. Jay Inslee is supporting a plan for the state to phase out net pen leases that are currently in place. There’s a measure under consideration at the statehouse that would prohibit new leases or extensions of leases for fish farms, while also adding new regulations on existing operations.

Over the weekend, Washington state tightened the screws—again—on an Atlantic salmon farming operation. The state Department of Natural Resources Saturday terminated the lease for Cooke Aquaculture's Cypress Island fish farm near Anacortes.

courtesy Washington State Department of Natural Resources

A failure to clean and maintain its nets led to the net pen collapse at Cooke Aquaculture’s Cypress Island facility this summer and the escape of 100,000 more Atlantic salmon than originally reported. That’s the conclusion of an investigation by three state agencies into the August incident.

COURTESY WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Washington is the only west coast state in the U.S. that allows Atlantic salmon net pen farming in open water. That may change in the wake of a summer spill of more than 300,000 of the non-native fish into Puget Sound.

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources

Cooke Aquaculture has filed suit against the state Department of Natural Resources. The company wants a court to reverse the state’s termination of its lease for an Atlantic salmon fish farm near Port Angeles.  

courtesy State Dept of Natural Resources

Conservation groups are up in arms over a possible new net pen for Atlantic salmon in open waters off the Olympic Peninsula. A public hearing Tuesday in Port Angeles will touch on the issue.  

courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources

Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation that aims to immediately ban all farming of Atlantic salmon in net pens in Washington waters. If passed, the ban would take effect as soon as it is signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.  

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

A local wild-salmon advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Cooke Aquaculture in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The Wild Fish Conservancy says the Canadian company must be held responsible for the collapse of its net pen in Deepwater Bay off Cyprus Island this summer.