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
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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Published on
September 24, 2019

Authorities in British Columbia, Canada, in coordination with First Nations tribes and aquaculture companies are in the beginning steps of a four-year program to decommission marine-based salmon farming operations off the coast of Vancouver Island, according to a National Post report

Earlier this year, an agreement was reached between three First Nations tribes, two aquaculture companies, and the British Columbia provincial government to

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Published on
September 13, 2019

Researchers from the Atlantic Salmon Federation in New Brunswick, Canada have caught more than 50 salmon after they escaped from a nearby Cooke Aquaculture site, according to a Canadian Press report. 

The Cooke site is located near Dear Island and, according to Atlantic Salmon Federation spokesman Neville Crabbe, around 1,000 salmon escaped from that location on 20 August. 

Cooke Vice President of Public Relations Joel Richardson said

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Published on
September 11, 2019

The fifth annual “Off the Hook” Santa Monica Seafood Festival is scheduled be held at the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, 14 September, and will celebrate the seafood bounty and chefs of southern California.

Held in September in order to celebrate National Water Quality Month, Santa Monica’s only seafood festival is set to feature sustainable seafood from nearly two dozen of Santa Monica’s restaurants, including Blue Plate

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Published on
August 30, 2019

Some 56,000 salmon have been able to migrate past the landslide in the Fraser River in British Columbia, according to The Star

The federal and provincial governments are still working on ways to clear the landslide and use other methods to allow the fish to reach their spawning ground. A typical run sees millions of salmon making their way up the Fraser River to various spawning grounds in the region.

According to Michael Crowe of the

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Published on
August 22, 2019

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has issued a call for products to compete in the 27th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood. 

The program is a competition of new value-added products made from Alaska seafood products, and the goal is to “inspire innovative ways to fully utilize and increase the value of Alaska’s seafood,” according to a company statement.

Judges base their decisions based on the

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Published on
August 12, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency changed its position on the Pebble Mine project after Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy met with President Donald Trump, according to a CNN report

Although the EPA’s decision not to oppose the mining project was made public on 30 July, staff scientists at the agency learned of the decision a month before, soon after the meeting. Dunleavy met with Trump while Air Force One was in Alaska on 26 June

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