, , ,

Canadian multi-national fish farmer Cooke Aquaculture is being penalized for something other than releasing more than 100,000 Atlantic farm salmon into the Puget Sound region near Seattle, Washington.

The company was fined $8,000 for violating state law over water quality issues, according to a news release from the Washington Department of Ecology. The penalties involve violations that took place at Cooke’s Bainbridge Island net pen facility dating back to August 2016. Violations include putting polluting matter into state waters, changing boat engine oil over the waters and allowing wastewater from pressure washing into the Puget Sound.

The fines are unrelated to the net pen collapse near Cypress Island more than three months ago. The state is currently investigating that incident for which Ecology may issue separate penalties, according to the news release.

Cooke has a storied history regarding their willingness to conform to state and federal laws concerning the environment and with their inability to ensure the health of salmon raised in their industrial fish pens in the USA, Canada, Scotland and Chile.

In 2011, Cooke CEO Glenn Cooke and two other senior executives were charged by the Canadian Environment department for illegally discharging gallons of the pesticide cypermethrin into the Bay of Fundy near New Brunswick.

The three pleaded guilty and were fined $500,000 on the charges.

Outbreaks of sea lice and infectious salmon anemia (ISA) have plagued Cooke fish farms over the years, resulting in the premature slaughter of millions of fish and, according to critics of their husbandry practices, endangering other marine species nearby. Cooke has received millions of dollars from the Canadian government as compensation for some of the ordered slaughters.