Communications Director of Cooke: ‘That is when we realized we were in a really serious situation’

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Earlier this week Salmonbusiness reported that thousand of salmon had escaped from a fish farm near Victoria in Washington State after an entire farm was destroyed over the weekend. Cooke Aquaculture now admits the escape is much bigger than first estimates indicated, according to the Seattle Times.

Nell Halse, Vice President Communications for Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, confirms this.

“Sunday afternoon, the whole thing came apart,” she said of the fish farm. “That is when we realized we were in a really serious situation. The numbers started out low and we still don’t know the full number, but there are clearly a lot of fish out there. Very, very many more.”

She said the farm totally collapsed.

Scientists debunked the statement from Cooke on Tuesday that “exceptionally high tides and currents coinciding with this week’s solar eclipse” caused the damage.

Author of the book “Tides the Science and Spirit of the Ocean”, Jonathan White, said there had been 105 tides as large or larger than what the company experienced over the weekend. He also said if Cooke was not prepared for this tide, they were not prepared for any tide.

The company responded that they don’t want to debate the data about the tides. However they say several factors contributed to the collapse.

Cooke Aquaculture owns and operates eight fish farms in Washington, including three at Cypress Island where the incident happened.