Lawsuit filed over Atlantic salmon farm escape

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 07:41:34 AM. Wild Fish Conservancy filed a citizen suit against Cooke under the Clean Water Act alleging the company was negligent in releasing the farmed Atlantic salmon into public waters.
The Atlantic salmon that were spilled into Puget Sound in a major net-pen farm escape at Cypress Island in August appear to be gone, with the fish not turning up in stream surveys by state biologists or in fall fisheries. "Most people here presume they are dead and gone," said Tony Meyer, spokesman for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, representing the treaty tribes of western Washington. "They were not feeding or anything; they were not going to make it. Of course miracles always happen, but mostly we figure they all died. "They scattered everywhere, one showed up a few weeks ago, that is about it. They are just not turning up and they are not expected to." [After Atlantic salmon spill, fish farms under attack on both sides of border] Bruce Botka, spokesman for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the most recent report of an Atlantic salmon being caught was Oct. 25, in a nontreaty gillnet fishery near Port Madison. That salmon had no signs in its stomach of having fed or foraged since escaping the net pen at Cypress Island, Botka said. Cooke Aquaculture, the owner and operator of the farm, also reported that the hundreds of escaped salmon it captured all had empty stomachs. "It would seem, from a biological point of view, that the likelihood of many more fish surviving is diminishing by the day," Botka said. "Without a consistent food source, their fat reserves can only last so long before they become food for crabs or other bottom feeders. "We have...Read more
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