Wash. governor signs bill into law: salmon-farming done by 2025

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Governor Jay Inslee of Washington on Thursday wrote non-native fish-farming out of the future aquaculture mix in his state, as he signed Bill 2957 — the bill to end salmon-farming by 2025 — into law.

Inslee, who evaluates 80 bills a day (signing a fair number of them), has openly been against salmon-farming, even as two separate attempts by state senators and lawmakers made their way through the Washington Legislature. The first anti-aquaculture bill was defeated with the help of Cooke Aquaculture Pacific’s lobbying and the support of the state’s own scientists.

Read Cooke at crossroads, as Wash. votes in new anti-pen bill

The industry wasn’t as lucky with Bill 2957. It was rushed through the Legislature on the heels of the defeated bill, catching many by surprise.

Cooke yesterday conceded “defeat” in countering the bill and said it would respect the new law that  phases out salmon-farming.

“While our company and our rural sea farming employees are deeply disappointed by the Governor’s decision to ignore the science and sign the bill,” company spokesman, Joel Richardson said in a statement.

“Cooke Aquaculture Pacific will continue to take the time we need to fully evaluate our operations and investments in Washington and explore all our available options.”

Read Washington Senate votes to ban salmon-farming, but doubts linger