Mix Of Washington Net Pen Bills Takes Aim At Non-Native Salmon

OLYMPIA — State Sen. Kevin Van De Wege is pushing ahead with Senate Bill 6086 regarding fish net pens following a damning report by three state agencies regarding the escape of Atlantic salmon in a net pen failure last August at a salmon farm in Puget Sound.

The state Department of Natural Resources alleged last week that the Cypress Island net pen failure occurred when its owner, Cooke Aquaculture, allowed the nets to become fouled with mussels and plant life. The nets failed when they could not sustain the weight of the additional plant life and mussels during high tides in Puget Sound.

Van De Wege, D-Sequim, is co-sponsor of SB 6086, which would prohibit DNR from entering new leases or extending old ones involving fin fish aquaculture of Atlantic salmon or other non-native fish.

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