Major Salmon Producer Fined For Farmed Fish Escape
by Phuong Le, Associated Press
Posted: 2018-02-02 15:48:31 EST

SEATTLE — The largest U.S. producer of farmed Atlantic salmon was fined $332,000 for alleged violations of Washington state water quality laws after hundreds of thousands of invasive Atlantic salmon were released last year into waters famed for their native salmon, state officials said.

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific failed to adequately clean nets holding farmed salmon, leading to a net pen failure last summer that allowed the fish to swim away into Puget Sound, officials said in a report compiled by the state’s departments of fish and wildlife, ecology and natural resources.

The nets failed because they were excessively laden with mussels and other marine organisms, the report said. That increased the drag on the nets from tidal currents and overwhelmed their mooring system, the report said.

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