“The Department of Natural Resource’s own engineer inspected the Clam Bay facility and concluded that it was safe and suitable for restocking. At the same time, DNR identified several areas that warrant repair,” says Nell Halse, Cooke Aquaculture’s vice president of communications.
On October 2, Cooke Aquaculture received approval to transfer 1 million juvenile Atlantic salmon from the hatchery to the company’s site in Rich Passage. The transfer is expected to commence this fall. On October 9, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced it has found flaws in those net pens and that it is giving the company 60 days to fix them. DNR informed the company it could lose its lease on the state-owned site if repairs are not done within the deadline.
Cooke Aquaculture says it continues to work on those repairs. “It is important to remember that Cooke Aquaculture acquired the company in 2016 and is in the process of upgrading its facilities to meet the company’s high standards,” Halse says.