Washington State bans salmon farming
March 23, 2018
By Liza Mayer
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday signed into law a bill that would ban salmon aquaculture in the state.
House Bill 2957 will phase out non-native fish farming in the state by 2025. New leases and permits for farming non-native finfish will be no longer be issued. Canadian company Cooke Aquacuulture is the only fish farming operations currently affected by the new law.
Cooke Aquaculture Pacific’s Vice President of Public Relations, Joel Richardson said: “While our company and our rural sea farming employees are deeply disappointed by the Governor’s decision to ignore the science and sign the bill, we will certainly respect the wishes of the Legislature. Our employees remain our top priority, and Cooke Aquaculture Pacific will continue to take the time we need to fully evaluate our operations and investments in Washington and explore all our available options. We will also continue to work with tribal, state and community partners.”
The Washington Fish Growers Association (WFGA) said it is “deeply disappointed by Governor Inslee’s failure to take science into consideration by signing i nto law HB 2957.Our organization holds the position—supported by leading fisheries scientists—that this law completely lacks any scientific basis,” it said in a statement.