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WA State Decision: No more Cooke Aquaculture fish farms in Puget Sound

That’s the message the Washington state Department of Natural Resources delivered Monday morning when the agency decided not to renew the last of Cooke’s leases on net pens there.

"According to letters sent from DNR to the company Monday, Cooke had a history of failing to comply with the provisions outlined in agreements.

Since taking over the leases in 2016, the fish-farming giant had made improvements outside of the leasehold, and other times did them without consent, according to the state’s letters."

“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,” [Hilary] Franz said in a statement.

“Today, we are returning our waters to wild fish and natural habitat. Today, we are freeing Puget Sound of enclosed cages."

"The company’s last net pens in Puget Sound are located in Rich Passage near Bainbridge Island and Hope Island in Skagit Bay. Cooke has until Dec. 14 to wrap up steelhead farming and begin deconstructing their equipment, according to DNR officials."

Excerpts and image above from the full article below:

Written by: Isabella Breda | Seattle Times | Nov. 14, 2022

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