Tag Archives: Cooke Aquaculture

Large Scale Fin-Fish and Aquatic Farms Could Hamper Maine Aquaculture Industry

As proposed, the Nordic Aquafarms project would raise more than 72 million pounds of salmon annually on its 56acre campus in Belfast, Maine. The site would utilize about 5,200 gallons of water per minute, a combination of both saltwater taken from the nearby Gulf of Maine and freshwater obtained from groundwater wells, city-owned aquifers and reservoirs. The permit application indicates the facility would discharge more than 7 million gallons of filtered wastewater into the Belfast Bay each day. It’s that last figure that concerns many local residents. Marsden Brewer is a commercial fisherman and scallop farmer who also serves as president of the Maine Aquaculture Co-op. Brewer was one of more than a dozen fishermen and fish farmers who spoke out against the Nordic project at a statewide hearing this spring. “After years of misuse, we’re finally starting to see a lot of good things happening in this bay,” Brewer says. >click to read< 09:56

Judge hears lawsuit over fish farms in Puget Sound

Whether Cooke Aquaculture’s plan to raise native steelhead at fish farms in Puget Sound is a simple business transition or a complex threat to the marine ecosystem is being debated in King County Superior Court. Judge Johanna Bender heard testimony Thursday over Zoom in a lawsuit environment groups brought against the state Department of Fish & Wildlife for granting a permit to the seafood company to raise steelhead. “Did the department make a mistake in comparing the impacts of one type of stock to another, as opposed to comparing it to Puget Sound without fish farming at all?” she said.,, , the state Legislature passed a law that phases out Atlantic salmon net pen aquaculture by 2022 >click to read< 15:48

Opposition grows to expanding fin fish farming

The Trump administration and the aquaculture industry said the order, which is being implemented now, represents common sense steps to ease the burden of rules on fish farmers. “They’re trying to somehow connect open-water aquaculture with the need for domestic food. But it just doesn’t make sense,” said Marianne Cufone, executive director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition,,, Some fishing groups have also come out in support of the order. Scot Mackey, director of government affairs for the Garden State Seafood Association, which advocates for fishermen as well as farmers, said the order “will help the industry weather the current crisis and come back stronger.” Neville Crabbe, spokesman for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, a conservation group, said the federal permitting process should be creating land-based aquaculture rather than fish farms in the ocean, let alone offshore. >click to read< 18:13

Farm raised salmon die in cages at a Cooke Aquaculture operation near Baie d’Espoir

In a statement, the company said the farm has a total of about 550,000 fish, and estimates about 14 per cent of them died off, which would put the number at more than 70,000 fish. The company’s statement blames the higher than expected number of deaths on “severe winter storm events experienced over the past month.” Cooke said they think the deaths happened in two of eight cages on the farm, which is run by Cold Ocean Salmon Inc., a subsidiary of New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture. >click to read< 07:28

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sued Over Steelhead Farming in Puget Sound

Environmental and conservation groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife over the agency’s recent decision to allow Cooke Aquaculture to rear farmed steelhead trout in Puget Sound. The suit, filed in the Superior Court of Washington, alleges that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a permit to allow steelhead fish feedlots, a type of fish-farming practice, to operate in the complex waterways of Puget Sound without any consideration of the consequences they would have on the environment. >click to read< 13:01

Large land-based salmon farms face opposition in Maine

“There’s a lot of things wrong with this project,” said neighbour Ellie Daniels. “But one of the major [problems] is water use, the discharge. And then the carbon footprint is gigantic on these things.” Daniels said Nordic Aquafarms proposes to use 7.7 million gallons of water a day, 30 per cent fresh, and 70 per cent seawater.  On top of that, a series of onsite diesel generators will be required to create the energy to pump and circulate water in roofed and enclosed oval pens rising several storeys from ground level. >click to read< 08:14

Cooke Aquaculture agrees to pay $2.75M to settle lawsuit over salmon net-pen collapse

Cooke Aquaculture has reached a settlement to pay $2.75 million in legal fees and to fund Puget Sound restoration projects, putting an end to a Clean Water Act lawsuit that followed the 2017 collapse of one of the fish-farming company’s net-pen structures.,,, The legal settlement, which awaits federal officials’ review and a judge’s signature, bookends a contentious and litigious chapter in the fight over fish farming in Washington waters that resulted in the termination of some of Cooke’s leases, a $332,000 fine to Cooke from state regulators and a ban on farming nonnative fish, >click to read< 12:09

EDITORIAL: Menhaden harvest limit actually means something

Last week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the partnership, or “interstate compact,” that sets harvest limits for 27 fisheries up and down the Atlantic Coast, officially accused Virginia of allowing Omega Protein to overfish,,, In a December 2017 press release on the deal, Cooke hinted at a new use: “The animal feed ingredients produced by Omega Protein are an important component in Cooke Aquaculture’s production of healthy Atlantic salmon, making this acquisition a strategic move that greatly enhances Cooke’s vertical integration.” So instead of rockfish, maybe the Bay’s menhaden will be feeding farm-raised salmon in Canada. >click to read< 09:15

Cooke Aquaculture seeks renewal of salmon pen lease

Just weeks after Cooke Aquaculture agreed to pay the state more than $150,000 to settle numerous violations at several of its salmon net pen sites in eastern Maine, the Department of Marine Resources is asking for public comment on the company’s application for a 20-year lease renewal. The renewal is of a lease to grow salmon, other finfish and blue mussels on a 15-acre site located between Black Island and Placentia Island south of Bass Harbor and Great and Little Gott islands. >click to read< 12:29

Notice of Completed Renewal Application and Comment Period – Cook Aquaculture USA, Inc. –  DMR has received a completed lease renewal application for the following:   >click to read<

Aquaculture poses threat to the lobster industry

As president of the Maine Lobstering Union, I know we have struggled with several concerns this summer from right whales to bait shortages to aquaculture leases. We need to take steps now to fix rules and regulations around aquaculture. If we don’t, it will encroach on ocean space for everyone. The lease sizes have gotten so large we are making Maine’s oceans attractive to out-of-state corporations. By Rock Alley >click to read< 11:40

Still recovering from escaped Atlantic salmon, Cooke Aquaculture now wants to farm steelhead

In August 2017, at least 263,000 farmed Atlantic salmon escaped from Cooke Aquaculture’s net pens at Washington’s Cypress Island into Washington state waters. The incident launched a legislated process to phase out nonnative finfish farming in Washington by 2025, and a $332,000 fine for Cooke Aquaculture, a Canadian multinational seafood company. As Cooke sunsets its Atlantic salmon farming in the state, it has experienced at least two viral outbreaks impacting more than 1 million fish; and was fined for more water quality violations. But not quite two years since the disaster, >click to read<  12:21

Canadian company wins approval for new lobster bait fish

The blackbelly rosefish is an abundant species that ranges from Canada to South America. Cooke Aquaculture, a New Brunswick, Canada-based company, requested Maine’s approval to sell rosefish as bait, and the company announced plans to harvest the fish off Uruguay. “We believe this is a solution to address concerns from the lobster fishery on the challenges they are currently facing on account of bait shortages,” said Glenn Cooke, chief executive officer of Cooke Inc., which includes Cooke Aquaculture.>click to read< 22:22

Cooke Aquaculture looks to expand operations – Opponents denounce expansion of fish farm in Liverpool Bay

As Cooke Aquaculture looks to expand its fish farming in Liverpool Bay, residents who oppose the project say the company is ignoring their concerns. In September, the Nova Scotia government granted Kelly Cove Salmon, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture, permission to look at new sites in the bay. The company has operated one site in the area since 2011, which employs 10 people. Those opposed to the expansion have a number of concerns, including fish-waste pollution, the possibility of cage failures, the use of pesticides to control sea lice and potential negative impacts on sea creatures, like lobster. “It’s all bad. It’s an environmental and fisheries disaster, wherever they go,” >click to read<14:13

Fears that thousands of escaped salmon could ‘pollute’ wild stocks on Newfoundland’s south coast

The escape of thousands of farmed salmon on the south coast of Newfoundland is a significant concern, as is the lack of public notification about the incident, the Atlantic Salmon Federation says. Cooke Aquaculture confirmed Monday that over the course of four days last week between 2,000 and 3,000 salmon escaped from the company’s fish farm in Hermitage Bay.,, The primary concern is that the escaped salmon will mate with wild salmon, which Sutton said will “pollute the genetics” and harm a salmon population already assessed as threatened. Interbreeding has already happened between wild and farmed salmon in the province. >click to read<10:24

Horror photos of farmed salmon spark legal threat

The diseases, damage and infestations suffered by hundreds of thousands of caged salmon in Scotland have been exposed by more than 300 graphic photos released by the Scottish Government. Pictures taken since 2015 by fish health inspectors investigating mass deaths at salmon farms along the west coast and on islands reveal eight diseases, bloody lesions, eye damage, deformed organs, plagues of flesh-eating sea lice and much else.,,, The investigations were into outbreaks of disease and other issues at 27 fish farms run by six companies. The majority – 15 – were at farms operated by Marine Harvest, along with four run by The Scottish Salmon Company, three by Scottish Sea Farms, three by Cooke Aquaculture, two by Greig Seafood, two by Loch Duart and one not known. >click to read<17:42

Canadian salmon firm admits using lobster-killing pesticide near Maine border

For the second time in five years, a Canadian salmon aquaculture firm has admitted in a New Brunswick courtroom to illegally using a pesticide known to kill lobsters for treating salmon off an island that abuts the Maine border. According to a CBC report, Northern Harvest Sea Farms admitted Tuesday to knowingly using the pesticide Salmosan 50 WP, without getting prior approval from the province, in an attempt to combat a sea lice outbreak at a salmon farm off Head Harbour on Campobello Island. Campobello Island is connected to the Maine town of Lubec via the Roosevelt International Bridge. >click to read<19:51

B.C. government looks into moving open-net fish farms onto land

British Columbia’s minister in charge of aquaculture tenures for the province is hinting at a major change in the provincial government’s approach to Atlantic salmon farming in Pacific waters. After the Washington State Senate passed a bill last Friday to phase out Atlantic salmon open-net fish farming in state waters by 2025, British Columbia’s First Nations hailed the move, raising hope the provincial government would do the same. >click to read<16:49

SURETTE: Open-pen fish farming a mess: How the world is passing us by

There’s big stuff happening in the dirty world of open-pen salmon farming. World production of farmed salmon is declining and prices are rising accordingly. The main culprit is sea lice grown immune to the chemicals used to wash them off, helped by algae blooms, fish disease, pollution, damaged wild stocks, and finally political disgust with the whole mess in the more enlightened jurisdictions. The move now, worldwide, is to either haul production to dry land or otherwise insulate the at-sea operations from the surrounding environment,,, >click to read< 18:28

Fish farm caused Atlantic salmon spill, state says, then tried to hide how bad it was

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific vastly underrepresented the scope of a catastrophic Atlantic salmon net-pen spill at its Cypress Island farm last August and misled the public and regulators about the cause, according to a new report by state investigators that blames the pen collapse on company negligence. The investigation found that Cooke lowballed the number of escaped fish by more than half, and did not do essential maintenance at its farm, causing the escape. The company also misled agencies about the seriousness and cause of an earlier mishap,,, >click here to read< 20:26

State investigators focus on nets plugged with mussels in Atlantic salmon net-pen failure

Investigators probing the collapse of an Atlantic salmon farm that sent 160,000 invasive fish into the Salish Sea last summer are examining mussels and other sea life coating the nets as cause. Photographs obtained by The Seattle Times under a public records request show portions of the nets at Cooke’s farm were so fouled with kelp, algae and especially mussels that the net was no longer visible.,, Cooke is required under the terms of its lease with the state to maintain its farms in a clean and safe condition. >click here to read< 21:10

Nova Scotia: Storm damage to fish farm pens alarms Shelburne County fisherman

In addition to ice and snow, remnants of Nova Scotia’s first major winter storm are all over the shore of Jordan Bay, N.S. in the form of buoys and plastic pipes. The debris, which came from the Cooke Aquaculture fish farm, is concerning to commercial lobster fisherman Ricky Hallett. He suspects many of the fish died. “Seventeen out of 20 of the pens have the tops off them and most of them have the sides smashed down,” Hallett said. “I live just adjacent to the site and I can look right out on it.” click here to read the story 15:56

Atlantic salmon-farming company sues Washington state to keep its Port Angeles site open

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific has filed a lawsuit seeking to continue running its Atlantic salmon farm in Port Angeles. The suit, filed Thursday in Clallam County Superior Court, declares that Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands, erred in revoking the company’s lease to operate the Port Angeles farm. Franz on Dec. 15 demanded Cooke shut down the farm and remove the fish and equipment. There are nearly 700,000 Atlantic salmon at the farm. click here to read the story 15:03 

Cooke Aquaculture acquires Houston fishing company in $650M deal

Cooke Aquaculture acquired Omega Protein Corp. in a $500 million USD deal — approximately $650 million (Canadian) — in one of the single largest foreign investment deals a New Brunswick company has ever done in the United States. “It’s the single largest acquisition [our] company has ever made,” said Joel Richardson, vice-president of communications for Cooke. “When a New Brunswick company reaches beyond our borders and acquires a company outside our province, it helps strengthen jobs back here and at home.” click here to read the story 12:03

Escaped Atlantic salmon found 42 miles up Skagit River

Strong, silvery and feisty, the Atlantic salmon hit the boat deck, thrashing and thumping. It was the sixth one the Upper Skagit Indian fishing crew caught that day. More than three months after a massive escape of Atlantic salmon from Cooke Aquaculture’s net pen at Cypress Island, Atlantics are still turning up very much alive in the Skagit River, one of Washington’s premier Pacific salmon strongholds.,, Caught more than 42 miles up the Skagit in a brief fishery in just a short stretch of river, those Atlantics were surely not the only ones in the river or the region, said Scott Schuyler, natural-resources director for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, based in Sedro-Woolley. 11 photo’s click here to read the story 18:19

Washington state senator says he’ll file bill to ban Atlantic salmon farming

Under fire after a collapse and massive escape last summer, Atlantic salmon net-pen farming would be banned in Washington under legislation that will be filed by Sen. Kevin Ranker this coming session. The legislation would allow existing state leases for the eight Atlantic net-pen farms now operating in Washington to run out by 2025. No permits for new farms would be granted, and no renewals for existing leases would be allowed. The bill also would require state agencies that regulate net-pen farming to keep a tighter watch on operations. click here to read the story 13:30

Company offered money for Lummi Nation’s silence about net pens, letters show

Cooke Aquaculture offered to pay a premium price for Atlantic salmon caught by the Lummi Nation after a major spill from the company’s Cypress Island fish farm if the tribe would not advocate getting rid of net pen aquaculture. The tribe tartly rejected the offer. “Your demand to keep quiet for a few extra dollars is insulting,” Timothy Ballew II, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council, responded in a Sept. 14 letter. Nell Halse, vice president for communications for Cooke, said Wednesday the offer “was not an attempt to muzzle or insult the Lummi Nation, but rather an effort to negotiate toward common ground and respect the interests and concerns of both parties at the table …” click here to read the story 10:13

Lummi chairman calls bribery attempt ‘insulting and preposterous’click here to read the story

Cooke Aquaculture Fish farm has 60 days to fix net pens outside Seattle, risks losing lease

Just a week after the state Department of Fish and Wildlife approved shipment of 1 million more farmed Atlantic salmon to Cooke Aquaculture’s fish farm near Bainbridge Island, another state agency says it has found a hole in the nets and corrosion in the structure of the facility. The Department of Natural Resources on Monday notified Cooke that it is in default of the terms of its lease at its Rich Passage operation. It ordered the facility repaired within 60 days, or the department may cancel the company’s lease for the facility, which operates over public bed lands. click here to read the story 13:53

Cooke acquires Omega Protein for nearly USD 500 million

Cooke Aquaculture’s parent company has acquired Texas-based fish oil and fishmeal producer Omega Protein for nearly USD 500 million (EUR 428 million). The agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each of Omega Protein and Cooke, according to a press release. Cooke Inc., based in New Brunswick, Canada, and Houston-headquartered Omega Protein agreed to a purchase price of USD 22.00 (EUR 18.81) per share for the publicly traded company.,, The transaction, which is expected to close near the end of 2017 or early in 2018, according to Cooke, is subject to the approval of Omega Protein stockholders, certain regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. click here to read the story 14:30

More Atlantic salmon coming to Puget Sound despite objections

The company that spilled thousands of invasive salmon into Puget Sound is sending 1 million more into local pens despite objections from state officials. “We are very concerned about Cooke Aquaculture’s plan to transfer up to 1 million Atlantic salmon smolts to a in Clam Bay across from Bainbridge Island. This is disappointing and frustrating, coming on the heels of the August collapse of Cooke’s net pen near Cypress Island that held 305,000 fish,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. click here to read the story 10:15

State gives OK to new salmon farm permit – The state found, however, that Fish and Wildlife didn’t have the authority to deny a permit to transfer fish into an existing pen, according to the joint release from Inslee and Franz. click here to read the story 10:42

Everyone’s Mad About Fugitive Salmon in the Pacific Northwest!

In a giant refrigerated warehouse 90 miles north of Seattle, 43,500 Atlantic salmon were stacked in plastic crates, frozen pariahs in a kingdom where Pacific salmon rule. For weeks, locals used nets to chase down the intruders, not to eat them or sell them, but to get them out of the water. Native fishermen who’ve worked Puget Sound for decades mocked them for looking different. Chefs and foodies refused to so much as lay a boning knife on them. Scientists, for their part, say they’re perfectly edible — a good source of protein in a world where increasing numbers of people could use some. But nobody is listening. click here to read the story 09:01