Skip to main content

In this Aug. 22, 2017 photo, a man shows Atlantic salmon caught in Point Williams, Wash. A marine net pen holding 305,000 farmed Atlantic salmon collapsed recently, releasing thousands of fish into Puget Sound and renewing concerns that a new proposed salmon farm could harm wild salmon stock and cause other environmental damage.

Dean Rutz/AP

A U.S. Indigenous community says its anglers have caught about 20,000 fish following the collapse of a commercial net pen rearing farmed Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound in Washington State.

The Lummi Nation say its fishermen have brought in about 90,700 kilograms of the non-native species since it declared a state of emergency on Thursday.

Cooke Aquaculture's marine salmon farm in the San Juan Islands off Washington state failed more than a week ago, releasing thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon into waters.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Atlantic salmon escape U.S. fish farm near B.C. waters

Officials have urged people catch as many as possible.

On Saturday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee directed the Department of Ecology to put on hold any new permits for net pens.

State officials also announced the formation of a response team comprised of the departments of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Ecology, the Office of the Governor and Emergency Management Division.

It's not yet clear how many non-native Atlantic salmon escaped into Puget Sound from New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture's salmon farm off Cypress Island. Officials say the pens held about 305,000 fish.

Cooke Aquaculture has said high tides and currents damaged the salmon farm and led to the escape of fish.

The release at Cooke Aquaculture's facility comes as the company is proposing a new expanded commercial facility in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Story continues below advertisement

The company operates five salmon farms in Washington State that it acquired last year and would build 14 floating circular net pens about 1.6 kilometres offshore. It would move current operations from Port Angeles Harbor and increase production by 20 per cent. The project is in the permitting phase.

But Mr. Inslee's directive halting new permits for net pens appears to put that project in jeopardy.

Washington State has the largest marine finfish aquaculture industry in the United States with farms producing more than 7,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon each year, the state said.

salmon 2
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies