Comment On Fish Farm Proposal

The state Department of Ecology is accepting comments through May 22 on Cooke Aquaculture’s application to raise female, sterile rainbow trout, native to Washington, in its existing Puget Sound net pens.

Cooke Aquaculture has previously used the pens to raise non-native Atlantic salmon, but the 2017 net pen collapse at a site off Cypress Island released hundreds of thousands of salmon into the Puget Sound, resulting in new legislation set to phase out non-native net pen fish farming by 2022.

To change the type of species farmed in its pens, the company must go through a permitting process with multiple agencies. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife approved Cooke’s request to farm rainbow trout in January.

Public comment and feedback on Cooke’s application to the Department of Ecology is available at comment and associated documents can be viewed at view comments.