Concern raised over escaped salmon crossing Canadian border


According to The Seattle Times, the fish which escaped from a Cooke Aquaculture facility recently have spread far and fast, to the concern of First Nations, Washington tribes, agencies and regulators.

“Salmon don’t know any borders; they go with the tide. The international aspect of this is very real,” said Bob Chamberlin, elected chief councillor of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation and vice chairman of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

Chamberlin has requested a meeting with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, demanding answers after salmon escaped Cooke Aquaculture Pacific’s facility near Cypress Island the weekend of Aug. 19.

Spread across the international border
Dominic LeBlanc, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, issued a statement saying “our government takes this incident very seriously given its proximity to Canadian waters.”

According to a map created by the Washington Departement of Fish and Wildlife, the salmon escapees have spread across the international border to both sides of Vancouver Island.

Captured 141,156 fish
In Washington, Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has ordered Cooke to hunt down and recover escaped fish.

Chuck Brown, spokesman for Cooke, says they are cooperating with all agencies. At least 141,156 fish have been captured according to Brown. The pens which ruptured held up to 305,000 fish.


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