Authorities to investigate salmon die-off at Cooke Aquaculture’s Maine site

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An investigation is underway into what caused a mass die-off of salmon at a Cooke Aquaculture’s Maine operation last week.

In a statement, Cooke Aquaculture spokesperson Joel Richardson writes that “uncommonly low oxygen levels in the cages” are being blamed for the fish die-off, and that the company is “completing the safe removal of mortalities that have occurred” at salmon farm sites off Black Island, near Frenchboro in Maine.

Speaking to SalmonBusiness, Richardson elaborated, “We are in the process of working with the state regulators to conclude the reporting on this unfortunate low oxygen incident. The mortalities were a low percentage of our overall harvest at the sites.”

Maine Department of Environmental Protection deputy commissioner David Madore told Maine Public on Friday that his department has opened an enforcement case and is currently investigating the incident.