Findings imminent on death of 100k salmon at Cooke facility in Maine

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The state of Maine is investigating how an estimated 100,000 fish died at a Cooke aquaculture site near Mount Desert Island.

According to a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the findings will be released by early October.

The die-off at the fish farm was first reported by Cooke Aquaculture to the Maine DEP on August 27, DEP spokesman David Madore told Bangor Daily News.

“Cooke staff began noticing dead fish when divers were in the pens on Monday August 16,” Madore said.

Madore did not release additional details Wednesday about the investigation but, according to Cooke spokesman Joel Richardson, the deaths were caused by “uncommonly low dissolved oxygen in the cages.”

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

He said Cooke first notified the Maine Department of Marine Resources, which oversees approvals for the fish farm, about the die-off and then later told other agencies, including the DEP.

Speaking to SalmonBusiness at the time the incident was first reported, Richardson said, “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.”