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
February 14, 2019

Aquaculture is being unfairly demonized, and that’s not good for industry or the planet, according to Hugh Mitchell, a newly appointed board member of the Northwest Aquaculture Alliance. 

Mitchell, a fish health expert and co-owner the Kirkland, Washington, U.S.A.-based fish health supply distributor and consultancy company Aquatactics, said he joined the board of the organization formerly known as the Washington Fish Growers

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Published on
February 8, 2019

A peer review recommended by the Cohen Commission, a Canadian government sponsored inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River, has found that the threat of the spread of piscine irthoreovirus (PRV) from farmed Atlantic salmon near the Discovery Islands to wild Fraser River sockeye salmon is minimal. 

The review, carried out by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, concedes that “there are still some knowledge

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Published on
February 6, 2019

The International Pacific Halibut Commission last week agreed on catch limits for the Pacific halibut fishery which runs from California to Alaska, according to KBBI

In 2018, the IPHC, the public organization responsible for managing the  U.S. and Canadian West Coast halibut fisheries, was unable to agree on quotas for the season, and as a result the quota remained the same as the 2017 season. Before last year, the last time the

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Published on
February 4, 2019

The combination of climate change and dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers has raised the summer temperature of the rivers by nearly three degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), according to a new report released by the Environmental Protection Agency.  

As a result, the temperatures of the rivers during the warm months of the year have sometimes exceeded 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which has killed migrating salmon. The reservoirs

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Published on
January 23, 2019

A study led by Rutgers University has shown that the choice to conserve or overharvest renewable resources such as fish is often due to habits and past decisions, which could help fisheries discover why some succeed at conservation and others fail. 

The study, "Path-dependent institutions drive alternative stable states in conservation," was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It showed that conservation is

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Published on
January 16, 2019

The Dzawada’enuxw First Nation filed a claim in Vancouver federal court last Thursday against Canada’s federal government for authorizing licenses for 10 fish farms in tribal waters without consulting or seeking consent from the group. 

The Dzawada’enuxwm, from Kingcome Inlet, British Columbia, Canada, say that the net-pen Atlantic salmon farms owned by Marine Harvest and Cermaq along the British Columbia coast pollute and

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Published on
January 7, 2019

The new Pacific Salmon Treaty went into effect on the first of the year after the treaty’s last 10-year iteration expired on its own terms on 31 December. 

The Pacific Salmon Treaty is renegotiated every decade between the United States and Canada to govern salmon catch, research, and enhancement in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. 

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game made public last week the sections of the

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Published on
January 7, 2019

The Washington State Department of Ecology is accepting comments on permit renewals for four Cooke Aquaculture net-pen facilities in the state. 

If granted, the permits will remain in effect until a state ban on net-pen farming comes into effect in 2022.

Cooke leases the areas it uses for fish farming from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, but oversight of its adherences to its permits is also performed by

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Published on
January 4, 2019

An agreement signed by state, federal, and trial officials after many years of deliberations has resulted in changes to the spill policies on the Snake and Columbia rivers that will benefit young salmon, according to The Seattle Times

While the agreement is expected to increase the chance of survival of young fish, it was also careful to take into account the needs of the hydroelectricity companies that use the dams to create energy, so

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Published on
December 20, 2018

After a test required by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife showed that 800,000 of its juvenile farmed Atlantic salmon carried a strain of piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), Cooke Aquaculture Pacific destroyed the fish, according to the Seattle Times.

This is the second time the Canada-based company has had to destroy PRV-infected fish, the last time being in May 2017. The strain of PRV is the same that was found at the Icelandic

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