Ben Fisher

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Ben Fisher is a Seattle-based freelance writer. Previously, he worked as night and copy editor at the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s largest English language newspaper, and as digital editor of Jewish Quarterly. He is fluent English, French, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Published on
December 2, 2019

Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture has agreed to pay USD 2.75 million (EUR 2.48 million) to settle a lawsuit related to the collapse of one of its net-pen structures at a fish farming site near Cypress Island, Washington, U.S.A.

The settlement puts to rest a suit filed by the environmental nonprofit Wild Fish Conservatory in 2017 over alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.

Wild Fish Conservatory filed the lawsuit

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Published on
November 27, 2019

A Portland State University study has shown that microplastics –tiny fragments of plastic less than five millimeters in length – have been found in the vast majority of shellfish harvested on the Oregon coast.

The shellfish analyzed were from all parts of the state, from close to the border with Washington to just north of the California border, to more than two dozen additional sites in between. Some 300 oysters and razor

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Published on
November 18, 2019

The U.S. West Coast Dungeness crab season has been postponed in multiple states for a variety of reasons.

Last week in California, the Fish and Wildlife Department decided to postpone the start of the season for fishermen south of the Mendocino/Sonoma County line from 15 to 22 November, citing the threat of sea turtle and whale entanglements, according to The Daily Democrat. Data showed that whales were migrating through the area and the delay

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Published on
November 6, 2019

Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.-based Standard Fish has taken its two decades of seafood distribution expertise into a new venue with the addition of a new home delivery business.

The family-owned and -operated seafood import and export company got its feet wet in the wholesale sector more than 20 years ago. Standard Fish began by selling seafood products to distributors, who then delivered to retailers and restaurants. But the company’s

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Published on
October 23, 2019

Black Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada-based fish farming company Cooke Aquaculture will pay a fine of USD 156,213 (EUR 140,000) as part of a consent agreement with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection following multiple violations at fish farming sites Cooke operates in the U.S. state.

Cooke was cited by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for a number of incidents at its net pen sites in Hancock and Washington counties,

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Published on
October 23, 2019

Alaskan health officials are concerned about an increase in scombroid poisoning from fish and some are pointing the finger at Alaska’s unusually warm summer, according to an Alaskan Public Media report

At least seven people became sick with scombroid poisoning between May and August of this year, whereas only five people reported the illness during the three-year period from 2015 to 2018, the Alaska Department of Health and Social

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Published on
October 22, 2019

Trawlers in the Bering Sea have hauled up some 2,500 metric tons of black cod in bycatch circa the end of last month, according to a NOAA fisheries report.

An Alaska Public Media report suggests that small-boat fishermen who have bought black cod (also known as sablefish) fishing rights are frustrated that there will be fewer fish to harvest after the accidental catch of the trawlers.

The 2,500 metric tons harvested this year is more than ten

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Published on
October 18, 2019

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik has thrown out a federal permit for Washington state’s shellfish industry, saying that the permit does not do enough to protect the environment.

According to a Seattle Times report, the judge ruled that the federal permit – issued by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2017 –  authorizes most of the shellfish operations in the state to violate the Clean Water and National Environmental Policy

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Published on
October 4, 2019

Cooke Aquaculture has moved a step closer to ensuring a long-term presence in Washington State after the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed earlier this week that it plans to issue a five-year marine aquaculture permit to the Canadian aquaculture company to farm all-female rainbow trout at its existing farms in Puget Sound. 

Washington lawmakers voted to phase out and ban non-native finfish net-pen farming

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Published on
October 3, 2019

Justin Trudeau calls for shift from open net-pen farming to land-based systems in British Columbia

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has released its full party platform, which calls for a “transition [in British Columbia] from open net pen salmon farming in coastal waters to closed containment systems by 2025.”

The plan, released last week, has been dubbed by the party “Canada’s first-ever

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