Atlantic salmon escape fish farm


The concern with an introduced species, like Atlantic salmon on the West Coast, is whether it could become invasive - not just present, but damaging to the native ecology.

Lummi fishers out for chinook on Sunday near Samish, south of Bellingham Bay, were surprised to pull up the Atlantic salmon - escapees that turned up in their nets again on Monday.

"E$3 xceptionally high tides and currents coinciding with this week's solar eclipse" caused the "structural failure" of a net pen, Cooke says in a statement.

On the Canadian side, Michelle Ranier, a Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokeswoman, said the agency hasn't received any recent reports of the domesticated fish being caught to its Atlantic Salmon Watch program, but continues to monitor the situation.

"Our focus is on the safety of our people, securing the farm facilities, and protecting the environment we work within", Cooke Aquaculture said in a statement.

"Cooke Aquaculture is proposing to expand a new facility east of Port Angeles Harbor, directly in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a major outmigration corridor for salmon of the Salish Sea", Beardslee said in a release.

Warren pinned early estimates at 4,000 to 5,000, but said the company still on Tuesday has not been able to anchor the net pens due to strong tidal currents. "It's a devastation", said Ellie Kinley, whose family has fished Puget Sound for generations. "And we don't want them getting up in the rivers". "All that harms Pacific salmon and our waters of Washington", Beardslee said. "It is potentially a disease issue, and impact on our fish, as dire a shape as they are in, right now any impact to them is hard to absorb", he tells The Seattle Times.

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However, federal NDP fisheries critic Fin Donnelly said the event underscores "the need for mandatory, land-based, closed-containment fish farms in order to protect our wild salmon fishery".

Besides the spread of pathogens, the concerns are that the large number of Atlantic salmon would compete with wild fish for food and habitat, and "our stocks are simply not in shape to withstand that", Wristen said.

"Catch as many as you want", he said. "We don't want those fish preying on our baby salmon. We have never seen a successful crossbreeding with Atlantic salmon, but we don't want to test the theory".

Cooke says there were strong tides in July as well, but said they have been growing fish successfully there for 30 years and have not had ongoing issues.

Rust says he believes people need to give more consideration to farm-raised fish and says the US doesn't utilize farmed fish almost as much as some other countries.

"That's a concern for us and we're going to be monitoring the best we can".

"But the process is going slow", Warren said.


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