“OLYMPIA — Slamming the risks of Atlantic salmon farming in Washington waters, Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed a bill phasing out the industry that later passed the state Senate Thursday by a wide margin.
The legislation, approved on a vote of 35-12, would end Atlantic salmon net-pen farming in Washington as existing leases terminate by 2025. The bill now heads to the House.
The governor called such farming “a risk that is intolerable.” Inslee faulted Cooke Aquaculture, the owner and operator of Atlantic salmon net-pen farms around Puget Sound, for “pronounced lack of responsibility” that led to the collapse of its Cypress Island farm last summer. The collapse was the fault of Cooke’s negligence, state agencies found, following a months-long investigation. Cooke also misled the public and state about the cause and scope of the escape, regulators found, with far more fish released to Washington waters than Cooke stated, and more than 200,000 still unaccounted for.
‘This risk is simply too great,’ Inslee said. ‘It is no longer acceptable to the people of the state of Washington to expose our waters to the threat of Atlantic salmon net pens.'”
Image from the Seattle Times