Cooke begins massive cleanup after fish farm collapse

News
2008

Cooke Aquaculture has now removed a total of 119,266 Altantic salmon from the damaged cage structure at the Cypress Island farm site #2 off the state of Washington on the US Pacific Coast.

In an email to SalmonBusiness, the company confirms the cleanup started last week after the incident that happened on the August 19.

At first, Cooke reported that between 4000-5000 fish had escaped, but this was later massively upgraded when the company understood the extent of the incident.

Crane barge
On Saturday, 62,100 fish were removed from the site while 5,166 had been retrieved earlier in the week.

Crews started work Sunday at first light and retrieved a total of 52,000 fish from four separate pens.

On Sunday afternoon, a crane barge was being positioned to begin pursing the nets, bringing them toward the surface to facilitate removal of the remaining fish from the pens.

According to the observations of crews working on site, including divers, it is confirmed that there are still fish within the nets. The removal of the fish continued throughout Monday.

The authorities have encouraged local fishermen to catch as many of the escaped Atlantic salmon as possible.

Lawsuit against Cooke
Cooke first claimed that the accident was due to “exceptionally high waves and strong currents associated with a solar eclipse earlier this week.”

This was debunked by a number of scientists.

Later, vice president of communications at Cooke Aquaculture, Nell Halse, told The Seattle Times the company believed there were multiple reasons for the collapse.

The Wild Fish Conservancy in the state of Washington has filed a lawsuit against Cooke Aquaculture.