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
June 27, 2018

The United States Coast Guard on 23 June detained a Chinese fishing vessel it suspected of illegal fishing, in international waters about 860 nautical miles off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

A coast guard Kodiak C-130 aircraft initially spotted the ship during a routine patrol. Chinese Coast Guard officials were also involved in the operation and boarded with the USCG. 

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the captain of the Run Da admitted

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Published on
June 12, 2018

A new study from fisheries expert Ray Hilborn compares the environmental impact of various forms of animal husbandry.

The study, which appeared in “Frontiers in Ecology and The Environment,” is an all-encompassing look on how animal protein production affects the environment.

“From the consumers' standpoint, choice matters. If you’re an environmentalist, what you eat makes a difference,” Hilborn said. “We

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Published on
May 4, 2018

Seasoft, a Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software company, has been making moves lately that have bolstered its product and made its brand an even more appealing offering to seafood companies across the country.

Seasoft provides software that is designed to handle every aspect of a seafood processing and distribution company’s business operations, according to Seasoft Director of Marketing Tom

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Published on
May 1, 2018

The United States House of Representatives voted to reverse a federal judge’s ruling to release water from four dams in the Pacific Northwest in an attempt to help wild salmon migrate to the Pacific Ocean. 

The bill, which passed 225-189 on 25 April, was sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and calls for no changes in dam operations until 2022. 

The four dams in question are Ice Harbor,

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Published on
April 30, 2018

Canada is not doing enough to mitigate the risks associated with salmon farming, a report released by the country’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand has found. 

The report cites a lack of national standards for nets and anchoring equipment, suggested that the Department of Fisheries and Natural resources is not doing enough to monitor diseases among farmed fish populations, and recommends that

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Published on
April 17, 2018

A Superior Court judge in Thurston County, Washington, has ruled against Cooke Aquaculture, which had proposed a restocking of its Atlantic salmon net-pen farm at Cypress Island, Washington.

Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz in December terminated the farm’s license. She said that the company had violated the terms of the lease after a catastrophic collapse of the net last August, which resulted in more than

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Published on
April 2, 2018

Alaska Governor Bill Walker will be traveling to China this May with the goal of improving trade ties, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The announcement of the trip comes among fears of an impending trade war between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump said on 22 March he will impose tariffs on USD 60 billion (EUR 48.8 billion) worth of Chinese products, partially to retaliate against Chinese trade barriers and also in

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Published on
March 23, 2018

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday, 22 March, signed a bill into law that will phase out Atlantic salmon and other non-native fish farming by 2025.  

Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture, the only company that farms Atlantic salmon fish farms in Washington state, was the target of the ban after more than a quarter-million non-native salmon escaped in August 2017 from a Cooke net-pen near Cypress Island, Washington.

"This bill will

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Published on
March 21, 2018

Aqua-Spark, a fund that invests in sustainable aquaculture projects, has invested in Norway-based Hatch Accelerator 1.0, a first-of-its-kind program that aims to accelerate eight aquaculture businesses in 2018. 

Since its founding in 2015, The Netherlands-based investment fund has invested in nearly a dozen companies, including Calysta, a bio-tech company that works to make fish feed healthier and more environmentally friendly; Sogn Aqua, a

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Published on
March 12, 2018

The minister of forest, land and natural resource operations, and rural development in British Columbia, Canada has called for moving open-net fish farms from the ocean to land-based operations. 

Doug Donaldson stated publicly that though the option to ban Atlantic salmon farming is not currently available to him, as it’s regulated by the federal government, he is in favor of phasing out ocean-based salmon farming in favor of closed

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